Bulk electrical properties of media are important inherently for ground penetrating radar (GPR) applications and for providing a means to determine indirectly other physical properties such as moisture content. We have developed a reflector whose reflectivity can be controlled electronically. This variable reflector controlled by a GPR provides an effective method to measure bulk electrical properties of media. For sample measurements, the GPR is placed on one side of a sample and the variable reflector on the opposite side. GPR trace data are then acquired with the reflector in an on-state and in the off-state. By differencing these measurements, we improve the ability to detect the specific reflection event from the variable reflector. This process removes both the direct wave and clutter from the trace data, improving the quality of the refection event and our ability to accurately pick its arrival time and amplitude. We describe the variable reflector, a prototype instrument based on the reflector and numerical modeling performed to understand its response. We also show the results of testing applications to the measurement of wood chip moisture content and monitoring of the electrical properties of concrete during the curing process.

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