Reflection Tomographic Imaging of Highly Scattering Objects Using Incremental Frequency Inversion

Reflection tomography is an inverse scattering technique that estimates the spatial distribution of an object’s permittivity by illuminating it with a probing pulse and measuring the scattered wavefields by receivers located on the same side as the transmitter. Unlike conventional transmission tomography, the reflection regime is severely ill-posed since the measured wavefields contain far less spatial frequency information about the object. In this paper, we propose an incremental frequency inversion framework that requires no initial target model, and that leverages spatial regularization to reconstruct the permittivity distribution of highly scattering objects. Our framework solves a wave-equation constrained, total-variation (TV) regularized nonlinear least squares problem that solves a sequence of subproblems that incrementally enhance the resolution of the estimated object model. With each subproblem, higher frequency wavefield components are incorporated in the inversion to improve the recovered model resolution. We validate the performance of our approach using synthetically generated data for retrieving high-contrast material such as water in an underground radar imaging setup