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Modelling Near-Surface Metallic Clutter Without the Excruciating Pain
AGU Fall Meeting
  • Christine Marie Downs, University of South Florida
  • Chester J Weiss, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
  • Jeffrey Bach, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
  • Jeffery T Williams, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
Document Type
Poster Session
Publication Date

An ongoing problem in modeling electromagnetic (EM) interactions with the near-surface and related anthropogenic metal clutter is the large difference in length scale between the clutter dimensions and their resulting EM response. For example, observational evidence shows that cables, pipes and rail lines can have a strong influence far from where they are located, even in situations where these artefacts are volumetrically insignificant over the scaleof the model. This poses a significant modeling problem for understanding geohazards in urban environments, for example, because of the very fine numerical discretization required for accurate representation of an artefact embedded in a larger computational domain. We adopt a sub-grid approximation and impose a boundary condition along grid edges to capture the vanishing fields of a perfect conductor.

We work in a Cartesian system where the EM fields are solved via finite volumes in the frequency domain in terms of the Lorenz gauged magnetic vector (A) and electric scalar (Phi) potentials. The electric fied is given simply by A-grad(Phi), and set identically to zero along edges of the mesh that coincide with the center of long, slender metallic conductors. A simple extension to bulky artefacts like blocks or slabs involves endowing all such edges in their interior with the same “internal” boundary condition. In essence, we apply the “perfect electric conductor” boundary condition to select edges interior to the modeling domain. We note a few minor numerical consequences of this approach, namely: the zero-E field internal boundary condition destroys the symmetry of the finite volume coefficient matrix; and, the accuracy of the representation of the conducting artefact is restricted by the relatively coarse discretization mesh. The former is overcome with the use of preconditioned bi-conjugate gradient methods instead of the quasi-minimal-residual method. Both are matrix-free iterative solvers – thus avoiding unnecessary storage– and both exhibit generally good convergence for well-posed problems. The latter is more difficult to overcome without either modifying the mesh (potentially degrading the condition number of the coefficient matrix) or with novel mesh sub-gridding. Initial results show qualitative agreement with the expected physics.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting on December 16, 2016 in San Francisco, CA.

Citation Information
Christine Marie Downs, Chester J Weiss, Jeffrey Bach and Jeffery T Williams. "Modelling Near-Surface Metallic Clutter Without the Excruciating Pain" AGU Fall Meeting (2016)
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