We consider the use of focused incident near-field (NF) beams to interrogate the object of interest (OI) in NF microwave imaging (MWI). To this end, we first discuss how focused NF beams can be advantageously utilized to suppress scattering effects from the neighbouring objects whose unknown dielectric properties are not of interest (i.e., undesired scatterers). We then discuss how this approach can also be helpful in reducing the required measured data points to perform imaging. Driven by the relation between the electromagnetic inverse source and inverse scattering problems, our approach emphasizes the importance of tailoring the induced contrast sources in the imaging domain through the utilized incident NF beams. To demonstrate this idea, we consider two recently-proposed NF beams, and simulate them for imaging applications. The first one is a subwavelength focused NF beam generated by a passive NF plate, and the other is a Bessel beam generated by a leaky radial waveguide. Simple imaging examples are considered to explore the potential advantages of this approach, in particular, toward mainly seeing
the object of interest, and not the unknown undesired scatterers. The scope of this paper is limited to homogeneous dielectric objects for which the induced total field distributions in the interrogated objects are similar to the incident field distributions (e.g., those that satisfy the Born approximation). Simple inversion results for focused and non-focused beams are presented accompanied by discussions comparing the achieved reconstructed values.
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