Ground penetrating radar, also known as GPR, is an extremely useful technology. In this blog we’ll go over the basics of how ground penetrating radar is supposed to work. It can collect data both underground and through concrete. Lastly, it can perform analysis of the data it collects.
Basic Idea of Operation
Basically, the idea of ground penetrating radar is that it does exactly what its name implies. How does it do this? A high frequency radio signal is sent into the ground and bounced back to its receiver. Stored through digital means, the data is recorded by a computer. This computer then measures how long the signal it pulsed took to travel back to the receiver from its target. The pulse’s travel time reveals how deep it went and where it went to its target. This system captures and interprets the data from the signals and shows it on an LCD screen for the user.
Data Collection Underground
To find a target underground, various types of GPR are needed. The type needed depends on how deep and how big the target is. Once the target is located, the signals from the GPR unit can be sent down to it. Signals can bounce back and forth up to a thousand times a second. Once the data is returned by the signals, the user can attempt to analyze it in the field, or save it for later. Saving it for later allows more time and more analysis if needed.
Data Collection Through Concrete
Certain targets need a different type of GPR. Rebar, conduits, and post-tension cables are often buried under concrete. GPR can then be used to not only find these targets, but to scan them. Scanning these targets can determine the thickness of the concrete and where the targets even are; a map is created. Virtual slices of the image can then be used to create a second, more thorough 3D map of that same image.
Data analysis is affected by factors such as soil and material the signals are traveling through. A more experienced user is probably best for interpreting this kind of data.
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