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Five things you should know about GPR

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can save you time and money when used correctly.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is an excellent tool when it comes to staying informed about what is located beneath the ground. From pipelines and wires to water lines and utilities, GPR can provide real-time images that are often invaluable in planning a project and ensuring that all the necessary safety measures are adhered to. Read on to find out what you should know about the technology and why it’s worth using before you begin excavating…

1.  GPR is a geophysical technique

GPR is a geophysical method of mapping the subsurface of the earth. This highly specialised technique works by outputting electromagnetic radiation waves into the ground to detect objects such as utilities and pipes. When electromagnetic radiation waves hit a buried object, the receiving antenna records any variations in the return signal. The technology can be used in a wide variety of environments, including rock, ice, soil, pavements, and other built structures.

2.  GPR can be used by all property owners

Although GPR uses a highly specialised technique, anyone with property can benefit from using this method. In fact, it is illegal to drive even a fence post or washing line into the ground before you have determined what is located below the earth, so no matter the size of your project, you may find GPR useful. GPR is particularly useful when it comes to detecting utilities and other structures that could delay construction projects. Thanks to the accurate insight that GPR can provide, it is possible to save a lot of time and money on building and renovation plans by using this technique.

Some of the possible uses of GPR include:

  • Environmental impact assessments in cases where it is necessary to locate objects under the ground
  • 2D and 3D imaging
  • Location of pipes, cables, ground disturbance, and tanks
  • Construction and repair of roads
  • Geology (mapping sand and gravel beds)
  • Agriculture (checking soil conditions and bedrock)
  • Archaeology (non-invasive and efficient investigation at sites)
  • Concrete studies

3.  GPR is very safe

One of the biggest benefits of GPR is that it is an incredibly safe and minimally destructive method for locating underground utilities. The method is especially useful for property owners who have existing buildings and would like to avoid considerable costs or disruptions to business. GPR is one of the least invasive techniques available and can provide excellent insight into one’s property without causing damage and unnecessary costs.

4.  A GPR system is made of three components

A GPR system has three key components. These are the control unit, the antenna, and the power supply.

The GPR control unit houses the electronics that trigger the radar energy that the antenna directs into the ground. The control unit also contains a built-in computer and memory, on which data is stored after the fieldwork has been completed.

The antenna works by receiving the electrical pulse that is produced by the control unit. The electrical pulse is then amplified and transmitted into the ground. The frequency of the antenna is an important factor in GPR—the higher the frequency, the shallower the penetration.

5.  GPR sends tiny pulses of energy

The GPR method works by sending pulses of energy into a material and then recording the strength and time that are required for any reflected signal to be returned. A series of pulses in a single area is called a scan.

A reflection is produced when the energy pulse enters a material with a different electrical conduction property from the material it left. The strength of the reflection can be determined by the contrast between the conductivities of the two materials. For example, a pulse that moves from dry sand to wet sand will produce a strong reflection, while a pulse that moves from dry sand to limestone will produce a much weaker reflection.

How can we help?

At Provac Australia, we offer a comprehensive range of services, including ground-penetrating radar. The technology is ideal for those who need to detect materials and objects, detect underground utilities like powerlines, sewerage, water pipes, and gas pipes, scan concrete for any cables, electrical conduits, and steel reinforcement, and locate lost valves, hatches, and cable boxes. To find out more about GPR and its uses, please have a look here.

If you are interested in using high-quality ground-penetrating radar technology, we encourage you to get in touch with our expert team. We also offer a range of other services, including hydro vacuum excavation, underground service locating, vac truck and mini excavator hire, and utility mapping. To find out more about these services, please have a look here. No matter the size of your project, we can help provide you with a safe and effective solution.

We service the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Logan, and other areas of South East Queensland. To get in touch for more information or to request a quote, please contact us here or give us a call at 1300 734 772.

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