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What is Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)?

Ground Penetrating Radar is a ground-penetrating radar that uses radio waves to detect underground objects such as pipes, cables and other buried infrastructure. GPR can be used for both detection and mapping of underground structures.

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an electromagnetic wave technology that detects the presence or absence of conductive materials in the earth’s surface. It works by transmitting a short pulse of high frequency energy into the subsurface and detecting reflections from any anomalies within the soil or rock. The time delay between transmission and reception of the reflected signal gives information about the depth and location of the anomaly. This technique has been widely used in geotechnical engineering applications since it was first developed in the 1950s.

The most common use of GPR today is to locate utilities such as pipelines, water mains and sewers. These are often hidden beneath roadways or buildings and so cannot easily be seen with traditional methods like digging trenches. GPR can also be used to map out areas of interest such as voids under foundations and tunnels. In addition to this, GPR can be used to monitor changes in the environment such as groundwater levels and movement of contaminants.

How does GPR work?
GPR operates on the same principles as radar systems used in air traffic control towers. A transmitter sends out a pulse of very short duration and extremely high frequency (usually around 1 MHz). As the pulse travels through the ground, some of its energy will reflect off any anomalies in the ground, including metal pipes and cables. If there is no anomaly present, then the reflection will return back towards the receiver at the same speed as the original pulse. However, if there is a pipe or cable passing through the area being scanned, then part of the pulse will be absorbed into the material and not reflected. The amount of energy lost depends on the thickness of the object and the wavelength of the transmitted pulse. Once the reflected pulse reaches the antenna, it is converted into electrical signals which are amplified and displayed on a screen.

Why do we need GPR?
As mentioned above, GPR is commonly used to find underground utilities such as gas pipes, water mains and sewer lines. It can also be used to identify voids under building sites, tunnels and roads. In addition to this it can be used to monitor environmental conditions such as groundwater levels and contamination.

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