Subsurface Radar

Written by Amy Hall
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Using Subsurface Radar for Non-Destructive Testing

Subsurface radar allows workers to locate all underground utilities without disturbing the surface of the earth or other man-made surface, such as concrete. It is entirely possible using Ground Penetrating Radar to quickly, conveniently, and accurately locate such materials as rebar, conduit, cables, and piping. This is an enormous help in the planning stages of any engineering or construction projects that require digging or coring.

Professionals in the fields of engineering, mining, geology, archeology, forensic science, and others use this type of subsurface imaging to solve complex problems relative to their fields. For instance, a transportation engineer might need to know where all rebar is located when he or she is planning the building of a new bridge or highway. Likewise, a structural engineer might need to know where all underground electrical wires are located prior to planning an addition to a hospital or other such public building.

Step By Step Radar Imaging

Subsurface radar is used by scanning an antenna over a targeted area of interest. For instance, if an engineer is planning a hospital project, the area of interest would be the plot of land that the hospital would be built on. Professionals who conduct these subsurface investigations would then go to that area with the GPR system and begin scanning the surface.

When embedded utilities are picked up by the antenna, radio pulses are given off. This is then transmitted onto a screen that gives the exact depth and location of all subsurface utilities in that area. Data can also be downloaded onto a computer for further detailed analysis, which can help even more when in the planning and design phase of any project.


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