Gateway for:

Member Countries

Subsurface Microwave Radio Thermometry


Methods and Facilities for Subsurface Microwave Radiothermometry: Diagnostics, Monitoring and Environmental Applications

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Physics of Microstructures, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod

Supporting institutes

  • Scientific Research Radiophysical Institute, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod\nExperimental Designing Bureau of Machine Building (OKBM), Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod


  • University of Tokyo / Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, Japan, Tokyo\nUS Department of Commerce / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA, CO, Boulder\nIEMN-Institut d'Electronique et de Microelectronique du Nord, France, Rocquencourt\nUniversity of California / Department of Physics, USA, CA, Berkeley\nUniversita Degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata" / Dipartimento di Informatica, Sistemi e Produzione, Italy, Rome

Project summary

The proposed project pursues theoretical and experimental investigations into possibilities for microwave radiometry diagnostics of hidden thermal anomalies, primarily, towards monitoring of operation and safety conditions of nuclear power plants and environmental research.

The methods of microwave radiometry are based on measurements of the thermal radiation of test medium. They feature a remote sensing capability, high sensitivity to temperature contrasts, and a rather large sounding depth (typically up to several meters, but sometimes up to tens of meters). Microwave radiometric thermal sounding (radiothermometry) has been in wide use for remote investigations of Earth atmosphere, ocean and land surface. The methods have been developed and promoted, first and foremost, to meet the needs of meteorology, hydrology, earth physics and a number of defence-oriented applications. Subsurface radiothermometry has evolved by now as an independent area of the microwave thermal sounding research. The scientific background of the project participants in this field includes 10 years of development by the IPM and RPRI researchers of the theoretical and experimental basis for subsurface radiothermometry and application of this technique for sounding of water, soils and biological objects. Yet, the said methods have not been applied so far to the environmental monitoring and power plant operation and safety control. The proposed project pursues solution of the following applied problems, new in the radiometry research:

1) control of nuclear power plants operation (both regular operation regimes and emergency situations) to provide exploitation safety;
2) location of heat dissipation in underground heat lines;
3) environmental control of underground disposals of nuclear and chemical waste;
4) location of people and animals buried in snow and stone avalanche, sand, collapsed building ruins.

Implementation of the project will involve solution of a number of fundamental and applied problems: construction of thermal models for the physical conditions corresponding to the above situations; design of the appropriate temperature fields; computations of equilibrium electromagnetic radiation of dielectrically inhomogeneous nonuniformly heated nonstationary media; development and optimization of the methods and technical aids to suit the corresponding radiometry measurements; algorithm and software design towards solution of the inverse problems of temperature fields reconstruction from the radiometry measurement data; creation of radiometry facilities and testing of the developed methods in numerical experiments, in the controlled conditions of a radiophysical test ground, and in natural conditions. The potentialities of high resolution radiothermal sounding in the near microwave fields will be investigated. Work to this effect will be carried out with the use of our recent developments of microwave antennas on the base of high-temperature superconductors. The scientific novelty of the proposed project is in solution of the above listed problems. The commercial profit to be derived from implementation of this project relies on the development of equipment and methods for diagnostics of hidden thermal anomalies on this research basis, that offer a wider scope of capabilities than the conventional Infra Red images, through a higher penetration power of microwave radiation.

The potential collaborators in this project may include research institutions, private companies, inpidual experts from the US, European Union, Japan, Norway. The contribution as expected of foreign partners consists primarily in evaluation of the marketing prospects for the proposed methods and equipment and adjustment of their functional characteristics and cost to the needs of the world market. The project may also include research of interest to foreign scientists working in related areas, which will be assisted by regular scientific consulting, coordination of efforts and exchange of results. Collaboration with foreign partners who have already given their consent to work under this project will follow these trends.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

Promotional Material

Значимы проект

See ISTC's new Promotional video view