• 05Jun2014

    What is a Ground Penetrating Radar?

    What is a Ground Penetrating Radar?

    Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This nondestructive method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band of the radio spectrum, and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. GPR uses high-frequency radio waves and transmits them into the ground. When the wave hits a buried object or a boundary with different dielectric constants, the receiving antenna records variations in the reflected return signal.

    What does that mean?

    Put simply, it collects and maps underground structures and features. Think of it as an earth X-Ray. GPR is state of the art technology that pushes the boundary of what is possible.

    How can it benefit me?

    You can investigate what is underground, without breaking ground.
    The major advantage of the GPR is that it is non destructive. Compared to excavation, you can completely eliminate the risk of inadvertently damaging an underground service.

    GPR can locate non-conductive materials.
    Traditional locating techniques rely on materials being conductive, or metallic, so they are capable of transmitting a signal that can be detected above the ground and along the length of it. This limitation excludes common underground materials such as polyethylene, PVC, reinforced concrete and Asbestos concrete, from being detected.

    GPR can be the solution to this problem. The second major advantage is that the GPR is capable of locating non-conductive materials. In fact the list of underground materials and features that can be detected is almost endless. Applications include:

    • Polyethylene and PVC utility detection
    • Reinforced concrete and Asbestos concrete utility detection
    • Steel, Copper, Iron and any other metallic material detection
    • Void profiling
    • Underground Storage Tanks (UST) profiling - such as fuel or water storage tanks
    • Bedrock profiling
    • Archeological investigation
    • Cemetery and grave site investigation
    • Ancient building and foundation location
    • Ice and snow thickness measurements

    The applications of the GPR are limited only by your imagination.

    The other half of GPRs capabilities…
    GPR is fantastically versatile on ground, but its applications in the field of concrete and structural investigation are a game changer.

    Please visit the GPR Concrete and Structural Investigation blog to read more.

    References:
    Ground-penetrating radar. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Encyclopedia on-line. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-penetrating_radar. Internet. Retrieved 30 May 2014.