For many years we have been using an IDS TR-HF 2GHz handheld antenna and an IDS TR900 900MHz antenna for our structural GPR surveys. These are good performing antennas, but we wanted to replace them with a handheld antenna with integrated electronics and screen and as a result we tested several devices, eventually choosing the GSSI Structure Scan Mini which we have also been using for several years, first on rental and then our own system after purchasing one.
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We tested the Ferroscan because we heard several glowing reports about its performance about which we were sceptical, and because we had an interest in the diameter estimation feature. We are also regularly asked to perform a ‘Ferroscan’ survey and each time we must explain that we can offer a GPR survey instead with better performance, but we wanted to know this first hand. We then tested the Hilti PS 1000 ‘X-Scan’ because the sales person brought it with them at the same time.
After being inundated with social media marketing about the Proceq GPR Live, we decided to test that as well to make sure we weren’t missing out (before blocking them from our social media feeds).
Finally, after viewing it at GEO Business 2018 we decided not to test the Leica/IDS C-Thru because we already know we will never buy it. The performance is likely to be good if it is similar to our old TR HF from IDS that we have been using for several years but it was too bulky for us.
In the end, the Ferroscan doesn’t offer the performance we need. The Proceq GPR Live offers truly excellent performance, the best of the three, and the GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT offers good solid performance.
The GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT is not perfect, but it has never let us down – we know before we start that the Proceq will, if not because of its build quality, then because of the iPad (having performed several surveys recently where the iPad could not possibly have worked). The Ferroscan looks solid but hasn’t been tested in anger.
With the Structure Scan Mini XT GSSI got it exactly right (almost). The screen is difficult to read at odd angles, but otherwise the combination of having a relatively small device suitable for most environments and the Palm antenna offering smallest possible GPR for difficult to reach places, beat the bulk of the Ferroscan, and the unwieldy GPR plus iPad setup of the Proceq GPR Live… the Proceq GPR Live without the iPad is bigger than the GSSI Palm XT antenna.
For us, having spent time in the past with an expensive GPR that breaks regularly and all the hassle that brings, we will always choose practicality and reliability over performance as long as the performance is adequate for our needs.
The GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT is the most practical out of the GPR we tested. The performance is good, not as good as the Proceq GPR Live, but much better than the Ferroscan and more than adequate for our needs. The reliability of the Ferroscan is unproven, it might be more robust than the Structrue Scan Mini XT… but it does not offer the performance we need. The Structure Scan Mini XT has never let us down.
We recommend the GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT.