Very few researchers have developed numerical models of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) that include realistic descriptions of both the antennas and the subsurface. This is essential to be able to accurately predict responses from near-surface, near-field targets. This paper presents detailed three-dimensional (3D) finite-difference time-domain models of two commercial GPR antennas — a Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. (GSSI) 1.5-GHz antenna and a MALÅ Geoscience 1.2-GHz antenna — developed using simple analyses of the geometries and the main components of the antennas. Values for unknown parameters in the antenna models (due to commercial sensitivity) were estimated by using Taguchi's optimization method, resulting in a good match between the real and modeled crosstalk responses in free space. Validation using a series of oil-in-water emulsions to simulate the electrical properties of real materials demonstrated that it was essential to accurately model the permittivity and dispersive conductivity. When accurate descriptions of the emulsions were combined with the antenna models, the simulated responses showed very good agreement with real data. This provides confidence for use of the antenna models in more advanced studies.

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