gprMax: open source software to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation for Ground Penetrating Radar

Craig Warren, Antonios Giannopoulos, Iraklis Giannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

gprMax is open source software that simulates electromagnetic wave propagation, using the Finite-Dierence Time-Domain (FDTD) method, for the numerical modelling of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). gprMax was originally developed in 1996 when numerical modelling using the FDTD method and, in general, the numerical modelling of GPR were in their infancy. Current computing resources offer the opportunity to build detailed and complex FDTD models of GPR to an extent that was not previously possible. To enable these types of simulations to be more easily realised, and also to facilitate the addition of more advanced features, gprMax has been redeveloped and signicantly modernised. The original C-based code has been completely rewritten using a combination of Python and Python programming languages. Standard and robust file formats have been chosen for geometry and field output files. New advanced modelling features have been added including: an unsplit implementation of higher order Perfectly Matched Layers (PMLs) using a recursive integration approach; diagonally anisotropic materials; dispersive media using multi-pole Debye, Drude or Lorenz expressions; soil modelling using a semi-empirical formulation for dielectric properties and fractals for geometric characteristics; rough surface generation; and the ability to embed complex transducers and targets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163–170
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Early online date8 Sept 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sept 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • electromagnetic modelling
  • finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)
  • gprMax
  • Geophysics


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