Ground Penetrating Radar, also called GPR, is a non-destructive device capable of detecting most underground utilities, including concrete, fiberglass, transite, and plastic pipes that may not be detectable with conventional utility locating methods. In fact, GPR can be thought of as a subsurface scanning tool, offering solutions for many underground problems like subsurface voids, underground storage tanks, and more.
How Does GPR Work?
The Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment is mounted on a cart that is pushed along the surface of the ground that is being investigated. It transmits pulses of ultra-high frequency radio waves down into the ground through a transducer or antenna. The transmitted energy is reflected back from various buried objects. An onboard antenna then receives the reflected radio waves in the digital control unit, which enables identification of the objects by a technician.
The end result is data showing both metallic and non-metallic subsurface features without probing, digging, or drilling.
The readable depth is a function of the earth’s conductivity in the area tested, which is largely based on the materials that make up the area being investigated. The lower the conductivity, the deeper the depth of penetration.
The type of GPR antenna will also determine the depth of penetration. Antennas with low frequencies from 25 to 200 MHZ obtain subsurface reflections from deeper depths, but have lower resolutions than higher frequency antennas.
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