We have been using the GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT for several years now, having posted reviews of the Ferroscan and the Proceq GPR Live, we felt that we should say a few words about the GSSI as well.
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GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT is the market leading device for structural GPR surveys, which both Ferroscan, Proceq, and recently IDS set out to emulate. It is a handheld ‘all-in-one’ high frequency GPR with four wheels and an integral screen, that is designed for structural surveys.
The Structure Scan Mini XT is delivered in a robust case and is a well-considered and well-built product. We have used it regularly in many different environments without ever having a problem.
GSSI have a number of accessories available for the Structure Scan mini XT which include an extension pole to bridge gaps and allow use on the ground without crouching, a line scanner which is an integrated EML device, and the Palm XT, which is a small handheld antenna that allows access to tight spaces using the electronics and screen of the XT as a controller.
We have found that the integrated screen and laser pointers make accurately
locating and marking rebar considerably easier and more accurate than using a GPR antenna on a cable, with someone else holding a separate laptop as a screen, which is what we had been used to with our old TR-HF system.
The Structure Scan Mini XT has been well used on many different surfaces including very rough surfaces it was not designed for (and really shouldn’t be used on) – I’m sure it wasn’t good for the GPR but we were able to make scans where other systems simply wouldn’t work. We found the accuracy of the built-in encoder to be extremely good.
The only times we have struggled with the Structure Scan Mini XT were when surveying confined spaces and the system was too bulky and when we were accessing difficult confined spaces and unable to read the screen properly because of the angle. Either of these circumstances would have been resolved with the use of the separate Palm XT antenna, but we didn’t have one.
We have used our Structure Scan Mini XT to scan entire warehouses and save the data for post processing – it works very well, but we feel that a trolley mounted GPR is a little more appropriate for those surveys.
Finally, GSSI have a fixed maximum penetration depth of 50cm, and the time window is set by choosing the material upon which you are surveying. This regularly gives us very odd numbers such as 11.1267cm/ns for our time window which is annoying. Also, on rare occasions it is possible to see a little deeper but the data is cut off at 50cm anyway. With our old IDS TR HF, it had a very
unrealistic time window of about 30ns which meant that we always recorded a lot of noise below the useful data, but, on those rare occasions where we could have detected something a little deeper the data was there.
Overall, we have been and continue to be very happy with the Structure Scan Mini XT, and don’t hesitate to recommend it and use it for on-site marking surveys of rebar or similar features, or data collection for post processing of larger areas (although a trolley based system is more practical once the areas get large).