December 20, 2021

Where To Find GPR Scanning Services In The UK

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Ground Penetrating Radar or GPR scanning is a locating method used by GPR surveyors to map out what’s underground in various locations without causing any damage or disturbance to the site. This is achieved through the use of radio waves emitted into the ground by a GPR transmitter. If these radio waves hit objects such as pipes, structures, or even voids and cavities, information about them will be returned to a GPR receiver. The data is recorded and interpreted by a GPR system, which then visualises the data gathered.

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    The easiest way to find companies that offer GPR scanning services in the UK is to use the Internet. A simple search engine query will return plenty of results, so add your location to filter your options.

    Alongside the Internet, you’ll also find GPR surveyors in business directories, advertisements, or through suggestions and recommendations from your business network. But it’s important to know what you are looking for in terms of GPR providers and GPR systems to help you make the best choice for your unique circumstances.

    What to look for in a GPR scanning services provider

    1. Reasonable pricing

    A GPR survey doesn’t have to be overly expensive; in fact, it is probably the most cost-effective method of finding out what’s below the surface before you, for example, begin construction. There’s no definitive cost for GPR surveys as every site is different; however, you can expect to pay around £18,000 to £36,000 for a survey. If you choose to hire GPR equipment to carry out the survey yourself, it is worth noting that interpreting the results can be challenging if you don’t have a great deal of experience in doing so.

    2. Up-to-date GPR equipment

    The technology used to carry out GPR surveys, both in terms of hardware and software, is continually being developed and improved. Using outdated equipment can end up costing you more because many of these new upgrades aim to make the process more accurate and affordable.

    As well as making sure that the company you use has the latest GPR equipment, you should also ensure that it is properly maintained and working because any malfunctions can directly and negatively affect the quality of the data provided.

    What to look for in GPR scanning equipment

    If you intend to rent or even buy your own GPR equipment, here are some guidelines on what qualities to look for.

    1. Rugged exterior

    Because GPR systems tend to be used outdoors much of the time, you are looking for one with a rugged design. This means it will stand the test of time, as well as withstanding challenges such as extreme weather conditions, rough terrain, and general wear and tear. If you can afford to, aim to purchase a GPR system with military-grade hardware.

    2. Versatility

    What you look for in terms of versatility will depend on the way you will use your GPR system. If you only intend to use it for a single purpose, don’t pay more than you need to for extra capabilities. For example, if your only use for the equipment will be locating utility pipework, you need equipment that’s capable of penetrating to a depth of up to 2m. If you’re carrying out geophysical research, however, you may need a kit that offers a lower frequency antenna for deeper scanning. Naturally, the more your GPR system does, the higher the price.

    If you are looking for a company with a great deal of expertise in providing GPR scanning services within the UK, you have come to the right place. Here at KB GPR Surveys, we are the leading GPR survey provider in the UK and beyond, with a great track record of offering first-class services to many clients over a range of industries.

    Our team consists of professional GPR surveyors, engineers, and archaeologists, whose expertise and experience guarantee the quality and accuracy of our GPR survey results. Combined with our state-of-the-art GPR systems, we’re able to tailor our services to your needs and deliver invaluable results every time, regardless of the purpose of your GPR survey.

    If you are interested in GPR surveys in the UK, you can contact us by phone on 020 3931 5759. You can also send any queries via the contact form you’ll find on our website at https://www.kbgprsurveys.co.uk/contact/ or use our email address, info@kbgprsurveys.co.uk.

    You can also visit our Head Office at 29 Hope Road, West End, Southampton, SO30 3GE. We will be more than happy to advise you on which of our services will best suit the requirements of your project.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Here, you'll find answers to questions you may have about GPR and our processes. Contact us for more information.

    What is a GPR scan?

    A ground penetrating radar (GPR) scan is a non-destructive imaging technique that uses radio waves to identify subsurface elements either within a surface or underground. For example, GPR scanning is used to determine the presence and location of underground utilities without disturbing the ground. It can also detect materials through concrete – even reinforced concrete.

    How does GPR work?

    GPR operates by transmitting energy waves, ranging in frequency from 1 to 1000 MHz, into the materials being probed, such as soil. The equipment then receives any reflected pulses and stores the data. Afterwards, the software analyses and calculates the time taken for the pulses to travel to and from the target, revealing its depth and location.

    Is GPR scanning safe?

    Yes. GPR scanning is completely safe for operators and any spectators in the vicinity. There is no radioactivity, and the equipment only emits roughly 1% of the power of a cell phone signal. Most experts recommend a GPR evaluation as being the safest, most efficient and accurate method of discovering what lies below or within a surface.

    Can GPR be used on concrete?

    Yes, GPR can be used even for reinforced concrete scanning. When used on concrete, GPR can detect the presence of rebar and measure its depth, thickness, and dimensions.
    Additionally, GPR can also be used on rock, ice, soil, fresh water, pavements, and other structures.

    What are the advantages of GPR scanning?

    There are three major advantages of using GPR scanning.

    • Cost-effective. GPR is a non-intrusive way to find things underneath the ground without digging. This makes it highly cost-effective.
    • Real-time data collection. It can cover large areas quickly and efficiently, transmitting the data in real time.
    • Non-destructive. It doesn’t damage the surface or anything below it.

    How much does GPR scanning cost?

    Most GPR systems are priced between £18,000 and £36,000, depending on the specifications required. If you search online for “GPR scanning near me”, you can typically hire a reliable service for between £900 and £1,800 per day, depending on the amount of data interpretation needed and the reports required. This is significantly cheaper than digging up a site.

    How Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Works

    Ground penetrating radar, commonly called GPR, is the most accurate non-destructive method way to identify underground features. It works by emitting high-frequency radio waves into the ground to determine what’s beneath the surface, providing high-resolution data in short timescales. GPR equipment can be used to survey concrete, asphalt, masonry, soil, and more.

    A GPR system is composed of three main parts: an antenna, a transmitter, and a radargram. Each has its own function, and the results are measured to determine the depth and location of any object or void underneath the ground surface.

    Using GPR In The SUE Process

    Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is the process of identifying and mapping existing underground infrastructure, which is often used to make as-built drawings for future projects.

    The information collected from subsurface utilities, such as their nature, location, depth, material, and dimensions, are logged and precisely georeferenced using survey-grade GPS.

    The main advantage of GPR is to allow operators to collect data about the subsurface quickly and more accurately than other methods without having to dig and disturb the ground’s surface. The collected data can be interpreted in real time, reducing the time spent on site and the overall costs.

    Best Practice When Using A Ground Penetrating Radar

    • Target characteristics. From the start of the project, you should consider the characteristics of the target and the surrounding material. For instance, the laser pulses in a GPR inspection travel fastest in air and the slowest in water. Therefore, when surveying materials, you must assess whether there is a difference between the target and the surrounding materials.
    • Correct antenna selection. The antenna frequency used will depend on the size and depth of the target. It is advisable to use a lower-frequency antenna for deeper penetration, but the downside of this is that the target must be larger to be imaged accurately. It’s better to use a high-frequency antenna when scanning for items that lie just a few feet beneath the surface, as this will provide more detailed results.
    • Setting up the system. The ideal number of scans varies depending on the target’s size and the material being scanned. For smaller targets, more scans are required.
    • Test in several areas. Ensure that there aren’t any changes in the signal or that the soil or concrete doesn’t change drastically across the site.
    • Document everything. Documenting all relevant information is crucial. You need to take note of the system settings and prepare a site sketch to ensure all relevant data is recorded.

    If you’re looking for an efficient, cost-effective, and accurate KB GPR survey, get in touch with KB GPR Surveys. We have years of experience in the GPR industry, delivering high-quality GPR surveying services.

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