GPR technology explained
Our cutting edge GPR solutions use state-of-the-art real-time sampling (RTS) technology combined with dual-GPS positioning for highest possible data quality and positioning accuracy.
What is GPR?
GPR is an acronym for Ground Penetrating Radar and as the name implies it’s a radar system that you use to image the subsurface. It may be used on a host of different penetrable materials to detect and map features or objects within.
The technology has been widely accepted and is routinely used for various applications such as mapping utilities, bedrock, cavities/sinkholes, archaeological artifacts, and ground-water levels. More recently it has found use in military/counter-terrorist, law enforcement and search-and-rescue applications.
More recently it has found use in military/counter-terrorist, law enforcement and search-and-rescue applications.
How does it work?
GPR works by transmitting a small pulse of ultra-wide band (UWB) electromagnetic energy into the material under investigation and then records the time it takes for some of that energy to be returned, along with a measure of its signal strength. A GPR antenna, which contains both transmitting and receiving elements, is placed on, or very near to, the surface of the material under investigation and moved across it to scan an area. By continuously transmitting pulses and recording the associated returns, a radargram image of the subsurface can be generated and viewed in real-time on a suitable screen (pc/tablet). Changes in the composition of the subsurface can be seen based on air, mineral and water content, presence of bedrock or other geological features, and objects such as buried utility lines.
Other common names for GPR: impulse radar, geo radar and UWB radar.
Signal sampling methods
All GPR systems need to sample analog signals from the antenna and digitize them for processing and display. The sampling method, as well as the rate at which samples are taken, can significantly affect the quality of results. Therefore, the sampling rate is an important specification that determines system performance.
Traditionally, GPR systems have utilized a technique called equivalent time-sampling, which requires a new pulse to be sent from the transmitting antenna for every sample recorded on the receiver end. We refer to systems using this method as conventional GPR.
However, modern components now make it possible to use a technique called real-time sampling or RTS, and this is the method we use in all our designs. As the name implies, it means that the ‘real’ signal is captured directly and in sharp contrast to conventional systems, it does not require repetition of the transmission-recording cycle. The result is a GPR system that gathers data thousands of times faster than a conventional one.