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Module 2.2: Examples of GPR Systems

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Some examples of entry level Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) available on the market

The Ground Penetrating Radar market is well developed and there is a wide variety of equipment available. Some (but certainly not all) of the entry level GPR systems available on the market include:

Mala HDR

This is a single frequency GPR with a mid-frequency antenna (450MHz) and Mala’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology to produce a very wide band pulse which should give high resolution and good penetration performance.

KB GPR Surveys has had limited exposure to the HDR, we’ve used one only briefly and we have processed data that was collected with the HDR. In our opinion the data was good.

Web: http://www.guidelinegeo.com/product/mala-el-hdr/

Available from a variety of sources including Optical and Sygma in the UK

Optical: http://surveyequipment.com/mala-easy-locator-pro-ground-penetrating-radar/

Sygma Solutions: http://www.sygma-solutions.com/courses/mala-hdr/

GSSI Dual-F

The DF was GSSI’s answer to the dual frequency ‘question’, antenna centre frequencies are 350MHz and 800MHz.

We have used a GSSI DF on several occasions to perform utility surveys and have a review of the DF in the news section of our website. https://kbgprsurveys.co.uk/blog/equipment-reviews/gssi-utilityscan-df-review/

Web: http://www.geophysical.com/utilityscandf.htm

Available in the UK from Allied Associates: http://www.allied-associates.co.uk/gssi/

GSSI Utility Scan

The utility scan by GSSI is a single frequency 350MHz GPR with built in line scanner that can help to identify power cables or pick up a signal from a signal generator.

We have tested this product at Allied Associates offices and we really liked it (although not the tablet screen). The penetration and resolution are both very good, but we wouldn’t expect it to see through rebar.

Web: http://www.geophysical.com/utilityscan.htm

Available in the UK from Allied Associates: http://www.allied-associates.co.uk/gssi/

Leica DS2000 (IDS Opera Duo)

The DS2000 and the IDS Opera Duo are the same product which was created by IDS to give the original Detector Duo a facelift and compete with newer dual frequency GPR’s released by competitors. It features exactly the same 250MHZ and 700MHz antennas in an updated injection moulded trolley, with a new controlling software.

We have used the Leica DS2000 / IDS Opera Duo DF on several occasions to perform utility surveys and have a review in the blog section of our website. https://kbgprsurveys.co.uk/blog/equipment-reviews/ids-opera-duo-review/

Web: http://idsgeoradar.com/products/ground-penetrating-radar/opera-duo or http://leica-geosystems.com/en-gb/products/detection-systems/leica-ds2000-utility-detection-radar

The DS2000 is available from any Leica dealer, there are too many to link them all but one supplier we use in the UK and recommend (spelling mistake corrected) is Optical: http://surveyequipment.com/leica-ds2000-utility-detection-radar/

UTSI Electronics TriView

UTSI Electronics TriView is the only triple frequency GPR in this class that we are aware of. It was designed with universities in mind but can be used by anyone. The frequencies are 200, 400 and 1000MHz.

We have an UTSI Electronics TriView and have a review in the blog section of our website: https://kbgprsurveys.co.uk/blog/equipment-reviews/utsi-trivue-review/

Web: http://www.utsielectronics.co.uk/

The Trivew can be purchased in the UK through Geomatrix: https://www.geomatrix.co.uk/land-products/ground-penetrating-radar/trivue/

Other GPR

There are many other GPR’s not listed, what is important to notice is that whilst each manufacturer has their own marketing slant or approach to the technology, all the GPR listed share similarities and there are more similarities than differences: they all consist of an antenna which is mounted on a trolley, the electronics will be integrated into the antenna box or connected by cables and the display is usually (but not always) a separate computer or tablet. All of the GPR are triggered by a survey wheel which is mounted on one or more of the trolley wheels.

Aside from the typical entry level GPR for on-site utility detection, there are many other kinds of GPR available on the market. Some of these include:

There is a clear push from some manufacturers towards GPR optimised for specific applications and in general towards larger arrays (not all manufacturers are following this trend). In some cases there is a clear performance advantage from taking this approach, in many others, it’s a marketing ploy to sell more expensive radars.

Our Most Common Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn't answered here, please do contact us for more information. 
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What can a Ground Penetrating Radar survey detect?

With GPR, you can detect a wide range of objects below ground level, including both metallic and non-metallic objects such as plastic pipework. GPR will also identify and map any voids below the surface, such as air pockets or mine shafts, as well as any other irregularities including concrete and previously excavated or back-filled areas.

Will GPR compromise safety on my site?

GPR equipment emits an electromagnetic pulse into the ground and records the reflected signals from subsurface structures and voids. It is entirely non-destructive and will not break the ground’s surface or affect any objects below. What’s more, it doesn’t emit any harmful levels of radiation, nor are there any other by-products created throughout the process. This means it’s entirely safe to use by its operators, and on sites of any type, including those open to the public.

Is a GPR survey 100% accurate?

While GPR is one of the most effective methods of non-destructive testing available, it can never be 100% accurate. One factor that can adversely affect the accuracy levels include the type of soil being surveyed. Clay soils and soils that contain high levels of salt or minerals can obstruct the GPR reading. Another factor is the experience of the equipment’s operator: interpreting the data collected can be complex, which is why it’s beneficial to commission surveys from an expert firm.

Is GPR equipment difficult to use?

The equipment itself is not difficult to use, but the interpretation of the data recorded tends to be complicated. The results of a GPR survey aren’t automatically translated into an easy-to-understand picture of what lies below the surface; instead, it’s a series of lines and waves and it can take both training and years of practice to master the art of correctly reading the output. Often, it is the experience of the equipment’s operator that plays the most significant role in the accuracy of the results GPR can achieve.

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