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Using Ground Penetrating Radar

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Entries in GPR (5)


Ground Penetrating Radar

Ground penetrating radar, or GPR, has come a long way from dragging a cumbersome box across the ground to send electromagnetic pulses into the earth to scan the tomography. Florida geophysical research within the atmospheres of seismology, geomagnetism, volcanology and oceanography has been an active force behind GPR advances. 

Applications for ground penetrating radar include:

• Earth sciences – studying soils and bedrock, ice and groundwater
• Environmental remediation – used to define contaminant plumes and landfills
• Archaeology – for mapping features and locating cemeteries
• Nondestructive testing (NDT) – for existing structures and paved surfaces, for locating underground utilities in the form of pipes, sewage, power and water mains, and for studying bedrock soils
• Law Enforcement – locating buried evidence and clandestine graves
• Military – mine detection, tunnels, unexploded ordinance

In Florida and particularly in Orlando, GPR has been useful in the latest applications of ground xray to obtain critical information on potential elements or obstructions that are contained underground or within existing structures. With the capability that ground penetrating radar has to capture two- and three-dimensional images of the areas being scanned, this technology has allowed for truly non-destructive testing in a host of environments. Ultimately, this makes for a safe working environment, reduces risk and costs previously related to locating materials within such surfaces as pavement, rock, concrete, metal, plastic, steel, soil, and even ice. 

Ground-based detection in Orlando looks for lines that are in place for water, gas, electrical, fiber optic and cable lines prior to the excavation work to be performed in the process of building. The goal is to prevent damage to existing underground lines and the surrounding environment in addition to establishing safety for job site workers. These ground-based services are performed simultaneously with the Florida state one-call utility detection agency and any other utility data available. Prospective clients can be of great support in providing whatever information they can obtain about a given project area. 

Orlando has seen testing further advanced with the use of GRP Inspection, which allows for the detection of deterioration within a project area’s hidden environment. Glass-fibre Reinforced Plastic materials have been recently introduced in onshore and offshore environments and, as with other materials, flaws can be found in GRP during different stages of production. GRP Inspection is particularly useful in identifying deviations from functional requirements as soon as is possible.

GRP pipelines have advantages over their steel counterparts, specifically, ease of manufacture, lower installation costs, resistance to corrosion and fire, and low weight. GRP inspection procedures have been developed to test the adhesion bonds in GRP pipelines. Suitable NDT techniques include visual inspection, measuring and surveying equipment, pressure testing, acoustic emission, ultrasonics, radiography, thermography, and microradiology. GRP Inspection can detect flaws due to incorrect dimensions, impact or wear damage, incorrect lay-up in lamination, incorrect curing, misaligned joints, voids, improper treatment of joint adherends or excess adhesive.

The use of ground penetrating radar in and around Orlando, Florida continues to bring this technology to advanced stages as methods continue to be applied. Making the industrial workplace safer and protecting existing subsurface strata through GPR is working smarter, not harder and has advantages that are useful to the industry as a whole.


Ground Penetrating Radar

Ground penetrating radar, also know as GPR, is the use of radio waves to create images of underground features. Energy is released into the ground in short pulses and the reflected signal is used to create the image. When the pulses pass through objects or the boundaries between areas with different dielectric constants, it causes variations in the return signal that can be analyzed to show the presence of buried features. 

Differing types of soil and rock have varying degrees of conductivity which can greatly influence the quality of the signal and limit the effectiveness of the technique. Soils with large amounts of clay or salt are a poor medium for GPR because they are highly conductive and tend to diffuse the radio waves before they can penetrate very deeply. In these cases, deeper features may be missed. This is a problem in parts of Florida, for instance, where the soil is rich in clay and has a high salt content. Other areas of Florida also have a problem with soil heterogeneity, in which chunks of rock tend to scatter the signal and limit its range and resolution.

However, in areas where conditions are favorable, GPR has a long list of uses. Utility companies can use it to create three-dimensional pictures of buried pipes, wires and other objects. Workers repairing dams and tunnels can locate flaws without costly digging. 

In the field of law enforcement, GPR can be used to locate any sort of buried evidence. Ground penetrating radar is capable of finding hollow cavities in soil, rock or concrete and revealing the presence of objects there, including human remains. In many cases it may not be possible to get a clear image of the buried objects, but the GPR image will show that there is some sort of anomaly present, giving investigators an indication of where to look.

For archaeologists, ground penetrating radar presents an exciting range of possibilities. It allows the detection of buried structures, human burial sites, signs of ancient flood and earthquake activity and excavated features such as ditches, pits and tunnels. This is another application that is particularly relevant to Florida, where archaeology is revealing much about the region's ancient cultures.

In cases of environmental damage, this technology can be used to detect old landfills and areas of chemical contamination. Buried objects such as old electronic equipment that can leach harmful substances into the ground can be found and eliminated.

Another application with particular relevance in Florida is the use of ground penetrating radar to find places with loose, sandy soil. Such areas are not suitable for large buildings, and builders know to avoid them.


Safer Constuction In Florida With Concrete Imaging

In the past, Florida building constructors and ground crews had to dig new ground blindly. There was no technology to warn them that they could be digging up live wires, pipes, post tension cables and other embedded building materials. This caused high risk to the men and equipment on construction sites. Today's technology offers the Florida construction industry a safer alternative by using concrete imaging to locate post tension cables and other embedded structures.

What Is Concrete Imaging?
Imaging concrete uses a detection device to allow builders, contractors and drilling companies to know what kind of embedded structures lay beneath the construction site. Imaging technology allows construction teams to evaluate a potential building site before they put men and equipment at risk. The use of this device is becoming a requisite evaluation technique before any construction can be allowed to take place.

Imaging Can Locate Post Tension Cables
Concrete imaging can also locate post tension cables. Post tension cables are used in construction to provide support and increased strength to slabs of concrete. The great majority of post tension cables are typically made from high-strength strands of steel that are put in place before the pouring of concrete. These steel cables are normally laid out in a grid pattern that can be detected by the use of concrete imaging equipment.

Using Concrete Imaging To Find Rebar On Florida Building Sites
The Florida construction industry can also use imaging technology to locate old embedded underground rebar. Rebar is the abbreviated form of reinforcement bar. These reinforcing bars have a much longer history in the construction industry and have been used for hundreds of years in the building trade all over the world. The rebar grid pattern establishes the base for any concrete support in much the same fashion as the more modern design of post tension cables. Before the invention of imaging devices, work crews generally had no idea what they could encounter during a dig.

Imaging Allows For Safer Construction In Florida
Being able to locate post tension cables and rebar on a construction site has improved the safety of the construction industry. With today's modern underground infrastructure consisting of miles of interrelated cables, phone lines, natural gas pipes, sewer systems, electrical power lines and many other types of embedded underground structures, a construction team can begin the necessary ground work fully aware of any dangers and areas to avoid.


X-ray concrete? That's what GPR is all about

Ground penetrating radar brings futuristic technology into the lives of Florida builders, contractors, remodelers, geologists, and archeologists. 

This scientific method is in demand for forensics and missing persons cases as well. In fact, it is truly the future of everything from environmental assessment to geology to archeology. For instance, the same technology that can x-ray concrete is used by the military when they are looking for unexploded bombs and other ordinances. Also, GPR can be used for bridge delimination testing. Furthermore, it can locate graves. Just as importantly, it can prove that there are no graves located on a building site. 

Using sound waves and computer imaging, ground penetrating radar can essentially x-ray concrete. These imaging inspections reveal imperfections in existing concrete structures. This is an important tool in a Florida contractor's tool box. After all, he doesn’t want to build on top of a poor foundation. Each time GPR is used to x-ray concrete, the look below the surface can provide a Florida contractor with a geologically sound picture of the building site. It puts the tools of a geologist in the hands of a Florida builder and ensures that a remodeled or new structure has a firm foundation.

The same GPR can eliminate any concerns about grave sites or archeological discoveries by confirming their absence from a building site. This can be essential when trying to move forward with a construction project. 

Qualified contractors have a unique tool in GPR because not only can it x-ray concrete but also can determine much about the topography of the land. With this technology, experts can provide a geophysical survey of land and buried structures. It can detect and map where buried utilities are. This mapping can help builders prevent costly accidents. It can save valuable time because builders know from the beginning what areas to avoid. GPR provides void detection as well. 

In all, any money spent on GPR is quickly paid back in terms of money saved. There are fewer unexpected expenses and it becomes more likely that a contractor or builder will finsh their project on time. This is important whether the building is built on speculation or under contract.

In Florida, where swampy land, sandy soil and high water tables cause building headaches, it is great to know that there is ground penetrating radar avaialble. It's almost as good as having Superman sight that can x-ray concrete.


GPR is science in action in South Florida

Imagine being able to x-ray concrete. That's one of the ways that Ground Penetrating Radar can help those in the building industry. Ground Penetrating Radar uses sound waves and computers to find and map everything from graves to buried utility lines. 

Imagine a Naples builder, a Miami contractor, a Ft. Lauderdale surveyor or an Orlando architect who is able to see what lies beneath a building site. This has the sound of science fiction but it is a reality with Ground Penetrating Radar. GPR can be used for bridge delamination testing, which is essential to the well-being of those in South Florida traveling to Miami Beach or Tampa Bay. This same great technology is in use by builders and contractors all over Florida, especially in South Florida. This concrete imaging has many uses for builders. Concrete imaging has become the norm for Naples, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, all over South Florida and the state of Florida. 

First it helps to understand how concrete imaging is used. For instance, a Naples builder wants to ensure that the place where he wishes to build is not an ancient Native American burial ground. GPR can x-ray concrete or the ground to provide the data to disprove this claim. IA Ft. Lauderdale surveyer uses the technology to detect voids that can cause settling during or after construction. A builder in Fort Lauderdale locates utilities on his property before he makes the mistake of digging into them or building over them. This is true of builders anywhere in Florida whether its Miami or Orlando or Naples. GPR, which includes concrete imaging, makes the building process run much smoother. 

In Florida, forensics teams can use Ground Penetrating Radar to find buried clues. In South Florida, archeologists and geologists are using it to study the topography of the region. All over Florida, the military is training to use the x-ray concrete technology to find unexploded bombs and other dangerous, buried ordinances. Tampa and Orlando contractors are putting this same technology to work for them. Through the GPR’s ability to essentially x-ray concrete, they can see what’s buried on the building site. This technology is used by geologists, scientists and environmental researchers. Now that it is possible to x-ray concrete, the technology has achieved broad appeal. 

No matter where you build in South Florida, be it Naples, Orlanda, Tampa, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, builders need GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) to help them avoid costly mistakes and to put their buildings on the firmest possible foundations.