Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scan

Ground Penetrating Radar utilises an antenna (comprising a transmitter and receiver a small fixed distance apart) to send electromagnetic waves into the subsurface. The antenna is moved over the surface of the medium to be inspected. The transmitter sends a diverging beam of energy pulses into the subsurface and the receiver collects the energy reflected from interfaces between materials of differing electrical properties. The reflected energy is recorded as a “pattern” on radargrams which are displayed in real time. The radargrams constitute the raw Ground Penetrating Radar data. They are displayed in real time on the control unit and basic interpretation can be conducted on site. Usually however, the radargrams are processed and analysed off-site using specialist software.

GPR Antennas

Depending on the application, antennas with different central frequencies are used to suit conditions and survey requirements. In general, low frequency systems are more penetrating but data resolution is lower; high frequency systems have limited penetration but offer a much higher resolution. By scanning the same area using two or more different frequencies, the information collected in the GPR data can be maximised.

Antennae Frequency Maximum Penetration Depth Examples of Potential Use
1500 MHz 0.5 m Rebar mapping and concrete evaluation.
900 MHz 1 m Pipe and void detection or assessing concrete thickness.
400 MHz 4 m Utility surveys, pavement evaluation, storage tank detection and assessing structural integrity.
270 MHz 6m Utility surveys, geology and archaeology.

The above table shows the maximum penetration that the different antenna frequencies are capable of achieving. In practice the limiting factor is is generally dictated by ground conditions. GPR works best in sandy soil. It does not work well in heavy clay soils where depth penetration is severely compromised.

GPR Data Analysis

Sandberg uses GSSI Radan software for off-site processing and analysis. Data processing can filter out unwanted noise and interference, apply corrections and enhancements, calculate depth and more. If the data has been collected on regular orthogonal grids, adjacent scans can be combined to produce 3D models if required.

Andy Kitson

For further information contact: Andy Kitson, Associate
Direct Tel: 020 7565 7056
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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