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Subsurface Views is published quarterly and features articles and customer stories on our ground penetrating radar products and GPR applications.

Tree Root Mapping with GPR

GPR is an effective tool for mapping buried tree roots and is a useful tool for city planners, arborists, and climate change scientists.

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Celebrating 30 years of GPR newsletters

Sensors & Software has now been publishing GPR newsletters for 30 years, since 1993!!! We do a bit of reminiscing about the things that have changed during that time and the things that haven’t.

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SmartSled GPR & Agricultural Drainage Tile Surveys

The new SmartSled configuration allows large area GPR surveys, including mapping of agricultural drainage tiles, to be performed quickly and accurately even in difficult terrain.

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LMX® GPR finds buried family treasure

Sensors & Software customers describe how their LMX200 GPR helped a desperate family by locating a buried family fortune that had been missing for years.

Chadwick and Jackalyn Oldham of Jackwick Metal Detecting recently contacted Sensors & Software about an interesting locating job they had done where their LMX200™ GPR was used to find a buried family fortune in Missouri.

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Environmental Geophysics at Oklahoma State University

Professors at Oklahoma State University describe setting up the school’s first geophysics degree program and conducting a field acquisition project for their new Environmental Geophysics course that included having the students collect low center frequency pulseEKKO GPR data over a suspected fault.

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IceMap Monitors the “World’s Largest Skating Rink”

IceMapTM is used on the World’s Largest Skating Rink in Ottawa, Canada to help construct and monitor the ice thickness, so it is smooth and safe for skaters.

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Powerful, new visualizations in EKKO_Project V6

EKKO_ProjectTM V6 from Sensors & Software.  This release is all about data visualization to help you analyze and present your GPR results in new ways.

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Sensors & Software + Radiodetection – What does it mean for you?

Sensors & Software is now part of Radiodetection. Hear about what that means for our customers.

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Using GPR to Locate 18th Century Utilities

Archaeologists used a NOGGIN® 500 GPR to map the remains of an Acadian house at an archaeological site in Nova Scotia, Canada and discovered both modern and ancient utilities.

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Mapping Cavities in Limestone

A common application for GPR is to detect subsurface voids and cavities. This case study shows an example of mapping a cavity at a site before construction began, thereby avoiding a potentially dangerous and costly situation.

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TIPS: Estimating GPR Penetration

We are often asked how deep GPR will see but the answer is always, “It depends.”  Here are some simple formulas that, with additional information, can help you estimate how deep GPR may penetrate at your site.

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Missing 150-year-old time capsule potentially found with CONQUEST®100

Learn how a Conquest100 #GPR System narrowed down the location of a historic 150 year old time capsule buried in a cornerstone of the Jackson County Courthouse.

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Welcome to SensoftU, the future of online GPR training

Ready for some exciting news! Sensors & Software announces the launch of SensoftU, an #interactive innovative online learning platform where users can take a full GPR course. Learn more today!

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gpr depth calculation

TIPS for Dips

How do you measure the true dip angle of a sloping reflector in a GPR cross-section?  It is not as simple as you might expect but is ultimately pretty easy to calculate. Learn how it’s done in this TIPS article.

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historical image of people operating cannons in war

“Easy” Targets in Plain Sight Excite Student Research

The faculty and students at West Point Military Academy have spent years looking for cannons buried on their campus long ago.  They should have been easy to find, but it took new thinking and a new type of surveying technique to reveal that they were hiding in plain sight.

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man using pulseekko gpr in mountains

GPR Imaging of Icy Debris Fans

Researchers from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania used a low frequency pulseEKKO PRO system to better understand the internal structure of icy debris fans; unstable, rapidly changing landforms associated with valley glaciers. In this article, we feature some of their research work.

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TIPS: Noise, Stacking and DynaQ®

One of the factors that limits GPR penetration is the background radio frequency noise in the survey area. Fixed stacking of GPR data traces helps to reduce the noise and improve the depth of penetration, however stacking with DynaQ technology helps GPR operators optimize stacking in an intuitive way.

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GPR Archaeology

GPR detects Pleistocene “Ghost Tracks”

Discover how researchers used a Noggin 250 SmartTow system to image Ice Age footprints, colloquially known as “ghost tracks”.

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TIPS: Determining pipe diameter from GPR data

While most utility locators simply want to know where a pipe is located, there are times when more detailed information is required.  One example is knowing the diameter of a buried pipe.

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IceMap™ GPR: Bringing Remote Communities Closer Together

For many remote communities in the north, transportation is not something taken for granted. Large distances between towns, accessibility of roads and cost of transportation are real concerns faced by residents every day. While most of us in the ‘south’ think of winter driving as a nuisance, in the north, winter provides greater access to travel as rivers freeze and become temporary ice roads.


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pulseEKKO® Ultra Receiver: Customer Stories

The pulseEKKO Ultra Receiver, which operates with 12.5, 25, 50, 100 and 200 MHz antennas and stacks data traces up to 65,536 times, has been available for more than one year now and we thought it would be a good time to share a few real-world results from our customers who have been using this new technology in the field.

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TIPS: Enhancing GPR Targets by Filtering

The menu item “Filter” is short for “Background Subtraction Filter”. It is applied to remove flat-lying signals (signals that arrive at the same travel time or depth) that are present in ALL traces in the GPR line; typically, the direct air and ground arrivals at the top of the section (Figure 1) or system noise bands. These undesired signals can interfere with desired signals such as hyperbolas from subsurface objects.

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FINDAR® Locates Buried Bodies

The Forensic Osteology Research Station (FOREST) is part of the Forensic Anthropology Program within the Anthropology and Sociology Department at Western Carolina University. The facility, the second oldest in the United States, was first established in 2005 and is used for the education of medicolegal professionals, implementation of various research projects in forensic anthropology and also as a service to provide consultation, training, and outreach to the law enforcement and medicolegal communities.


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Animal tunnels – a challenging target in near-surface imaging

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is often used to image the shallow subsurface and investigate subsurface infrastructure. Frequently overlooked shallow structures are the tunnels and burrows that are excavated by burrowing animals. While potentially only centimetre-scale in diameter, a single, interconnected tunnel network may extend over several hundred meters and therefore, it contributes to the pore-space, influences subsurface hydrology and/or may destabilize embankments and other earthworks.

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gpr position tracking

Tips: Where am I? You are Here!

The latest release of the LMX200® software introduced the new SplitView feature which shows a real-time MapView beside your data cross-section when using an external GPS. It displays your current position as a blue dot in real-time as you are collecting data. This has garnered a lot of excitement from our customers. But why is this helpful?

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SplitView – A Powerful New Feature for LMX200™ systems

The implications of SplitView are extremely powerful for utility locators. Seeing the subsurface in LineView and a map of the GPR survey area in MapView, greatly assists with data interpretation. Add field interpretations by simply touching the top of hyperbolas on the LineView side of the screen. That same interpretation will instantly appear on the MapView side of the screen. Now you can see the spatial relationship between targets and can quickly determine if a series of hyperbolas are linear in orientation, and therefore more likely to be a utility.

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#UsingYourNoggin to reveal Ancient Cities in Peru

Equipped with a NOGGIN® 500 SmartTow™ System, researchers from the University of Western Ontario’s Department of Anthropology are revealing the buried urbanscape of an ancient city on the North coast of Peru. Situated in a narrow strip of desert between the Andes and the coast, the Gallinazo Group of mounds represent the last visible remains of an ancient civilization that once thrived over 1000 years before the start of the Inca Empire.

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The Power of Average Time Amplitude (ATA) Plots – Part 2

Plotting the average amplitude of all the traces in a GPR cross-section shows the response character versus travel time (or depth) and provides the user with insights and key understandings of the nature of the data.

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student group photo for gpr training

Scanning New Ground: European 3-Day GPR Course

Sensors & Software has conducted an annual 3-Day course in Canada since 1998; this course is in its 22nd year. In 2018, for the first time, we conducted a 3-Day course in Europe; in Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, the town where our European office is located.

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Pipe up about #UsingYourNoggin

A 7-foot diameter fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) sewer pipe was being installed via a microtunnel boring machine (MTBM) at a depth of approximately 40 feet below the ground surface (Figure 1). After the installation of a 530 foot section of the sewer pipe, areas of surface subsidence (sinkholes) were noted along the trend of the sewer pipe.

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Spidar GPR

Water WARRs

For more than four decades, radio wave velocity and soil water content have been known to be strongly coupled. By measuring radio wave velocity, an indirect measure of the water content of soil can be obtained. Such measurements have the potential to optimize agricultural irrigation.

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Ultra Receiver – Revolutionizing Low Frequency Data

Learn how the pulseEKKO® Ultra Receiver is revolutionizing the way low frequency GPR data is collected and interpreted with its unique ability to increase the depth of penetration through stacking.

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artifacts found underground using gpr scanning

GPR Uncovers a Lost Chapter of History

Archeologists used the LMX200® to provide nondestructive, real time insights that guided a subsequent excavation to successfully discover a lost chapter of our Canadian history

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banner with logo

GPR Sounding in Water – EKKO Update

To celebrate 25 years of technical advances and helpful hints via our quarterly newsletter, we want to showcase how past articles are still relevant.

This article was published in our EKKO UPDATE newsletter in October of 1994 and is still applicable today!

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police using gpr for forensic investigation

FINDAR® – Enhanced Features for Forensic Investigations

Learn about the new, powerful features we’ve added to the FINDAR® system designed for forensic investigations.

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man surveying ground using noggin gpr

“Bodies” located with Noggin®

The Portuguese Criminal Police hosted a CSI field school where plastic bodies were buried to simulate a crime scene. See how the Noggin® SmartCart® was used in difficult conditions to locate the graves and report on the results.

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graph of GPR data

The Power of Average Trace Amplitude (ATA) Plots

Average Trace-Amplitude (ATA) Plots are a quick way to gain significant insights into GPR cross-sectional data including noise, attenuation and the depth of penetration.

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The New pulseEKKO® Ultra Receiver | Sensors & Software Inc.

The latest evolution of pulseEKKO® – the Ultra Receiver – uses the latest in GPR technology to allow GPR professionals to see up to twice as deep. Taking advantage of the pulseEKKO’s data quality, this receiver lets users see GPR signals 100 times smaller than before. The Ultra Receiver is compatible with most pulseEKKO® systems and upgrade packages are available.

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Detecting and Identifying Water Fraud

Detecting and Identifying Water Fraud using GPR

Every year millions of dollars in water disappears from taxpayer-funded and private water distribution systems around the world. Learn how GPR located a clandestine pipe that helped stop water fraud.

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Noggin GPR helps find and remove bombs from German Airfield

Noggin® GPR helps find and remove bombs from German Airfield

GPR is a natural complement to EM methods for the detection of UXO. Find out how #GPR line data was able to help detect buried bombs in an old German airfield.

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students learning about gpr in field

Notes from the Classroom: Student-Led Science using GPR

Learn how students at North Carolina State University use GPR to tackle real-world problems and connect the university to local community groups. Discover our extensive academic support.

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Conquest®100 - Going Beyond Rebar Locating

Conquest® 100 – Going Beyond Concrete Rebar Locating

Discover how Conquest was used to locate voids and deteriorated concrete in three different case studies.

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When utilities cannot be located through traditional means, locating professionals bring in the LMX200TM to get the job done.

Mystery Solved – The “Non-Locatable” Pipe Located | Subsurface Imaging

GPR can locate and map buried utilities however that is just the beginning. Discover how GPR effective technology located a valve, underground storage tanks, and a troublesome water line.

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Automating Borehole GPR Surveys | Sensors & Software Inc.

A motorized winch with automatic triggering dramatically increases borehole GPR data acquisition speed, opening new applications.

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Spidar GPR

NEW! Concurrent Receiver Operation with SPIDAR® | Georadar

Next generation SPIDAR enables pulseEKKO and Noggin sensors to be integrated into a distributed multi-frequency, multi-orientation and multi-field component network. Learn how SPIDAR  employs three Network Interface Controller (NIC) options for flexible connectivity.

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iceroads with gpr data mapped on top

Evaluating Ice Road Quality with IceMap™

Winter roads connect travelers to shorter and direct routes within communities that require considerable safety precautions prior to use. Manitoba Infrastructure required ice thickness data to verify and safety open the winter roads with the assistance of IceMap GPR.

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utility damage and flood

Ground Penetrating Radar for Flood Damage Assessment

Excessive rainfall and widespread flooding caused communities in the Montreal, Canada area to be submerged resulting in structural damage at a local pier. Quebec-based geophysical service providers turned to LMX200 GPR to assess internal damages and target repairs to safely reopen the pier to the public.

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Using GPS elevation with GPR

TIPS: Using GPS elevation with GPR | Sensors & Software Inc.

When we think about GPS, we usually only think about our lateral position on the Earth, or, in other words, our XY position. But GPS also provides Z, your elevation. If you are collecting GPR data with GPS, the elevation is pretty much free information. When GPR data with GPS files are opened in the EKKO_Project software, the software automatically adds GPS position values for every GPR trace collected, including the elevation

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Underground Utility Locating? | Scan utility

PR is now a complementary tool to EM when locating buried utilities. This article focuses on getting the most out of your utility data in two common but challenging situations: Too Many Targets present and weak targets.

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two people using GPR smart tow for ground scanning

An Ancient Synagogue Lost and Found using GPR

Sixty Years after the Great Synagogue and Shulhoyf of Vilna (Vilnius) was razed, a team of international scientists is uncovering precious history with the assistance of pulseEKKO Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).

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LMX200 and Subsurface Utility Engineering

LMX200™ GPR and Subsurface Utility Locating

From more than 25 years of delivering GPR for concrete imaging, we strongly recommend taking the time to do grid scanning and to use line scanning as a quick reconnaissance approach to establish optimal grid orientation.

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pulseEkko geophysical gpr system

Common Mid-Point survey using the DVL-500P

One of the advanced surveys that can be conducted with a bi-static GPR system like the pulseEKKO (see accompanying story), is a Common Mid-Point survey. A CMP survey provides a simple way of measuring GPR velocity in the ground or other material; critical information for determining the depth of a target.

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The New pulseEKKO - GPR with No Limits

The New pulseEKKO® – GPR with No Limits | Sensors & Software Inc.

Before there was Noggin, Conquest, LMX or Rescue Radar, there was pulseEKKO.  pulseEKKO systems are the initial GPRs designed and built by Sensors & Software Inc.  Discerning professional around the world know of the superior performance and signal quality of the pulseEKKO brand.

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The Advantage of Conquest Depth Slices

The Advantage of Conquest® Depth Slices

From more than 25 years of delivering GPR for concrete imaging, we strongly recommend taking the time to do grid scanning and to use line scanning as a quick reconnaissance approach to establish optimal grid orientation.

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Measuring GPR Velocity for Water Content Estimation

Measuring GPR Velocity for Water Content Estimation

There are a number of issues that need to be considered to get reliable results. Samples need to be sufficiently large to ensure that the measured travel time provides an accurate velocity and that there is no impact from the finite sample size on the measured travel time.

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Depth Slicing without a Grid

GPR | Depth Slicing without a Grid

Is there another, perhaps easier, way to collect data over an area and ensure the position of every GPR trace is known? The answer is “Yes”.

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What is GPR

What is GPR? Ground Penetrating Radar | Georadar

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is the general term applied to techniques which employ radio waves, typically in the 1 to 1000 MHz frequency range, to map structures and features buried in the ground (or in man-made structures). Ground Penetrating Radar works by emitting a pulse into the ground and recording the echoes that result from subsurface objects.

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A map view of the data on Google Earth

Tips: Automatic Output Files

Having a GPS connected to an LMX200 or Noggin GPR system automatically generates simple, standard output files that clearly communicate the position of underground features – without the need of any GPR processing software.

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4 people viewing noggin gpr

Cemetery Data – “Grave” Interpretational Mistakes

Surveying cemeteries is a common application for GPR due to its ability to detect non-metallic objects like coffins. It is also possible to find burials, even without coffins, by detecting the disturbed soil associated with digging the grave. But, for cemetery surveys (and many other types of surveys for that matter) keeping an open mind when interpreting GPR data is important because what you expect to see in the data, and what you really do see in the data, may not match.

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crane in front of factory

Concrete Scanning & Detecting voids under foundations

Throughout the world, there are many geographic regions where soil properties can wreak havoc on engineered structures. When the underlying soil heaves (expands) or subsides (contracts), structural foundations can shift or be damaged. One such geographic area is the gulf coast region in the United States. The soil is subject to extensive subsidence. To reduce the impact of this, it is standard practice to use concrete piles as part of foundation construction.

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IceMap in Iceland

IceMap™ in Iceland | Sensors & Software Inc.

Iceland is the island of fire and ice in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is volcanically active (remember the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in April, 2010 that disrupted air traffic across the Atlantic and Europe for days) but glaciers cover about 11% of the country.

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Person on a parking lot using the Noggin 1000 GPR

You Never Know What You’ll Find …

Noggin 1000 GPR systems are regularly used for shallow, high resolution imaging on and around building infrastructure, but sometimes, during a survey, you may find something totally unexpected …

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GPR survey Depth slices on Google Earth

Noggin® GPR survey at a late 19th century brick factory

When we think of archaeology, we usually think of searching for artifacts from ancient civilizations in distant lands but the reality is that many archaeological projects involve looking for nearby objects from the not-so-distant past. The following Noggin case study from Dr. Jarrod Burks from Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. is a great example of rediscovering local, recent history.

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Noggin GPR

Announcing the new Noggin® GPR system

The new Noggin is an adaptable high-performance GPR system. It provides professional users with the highest quality GPR data, flexible data collection and powerful in-field analysis with reporting.

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People using Ground Penetrating Radar equipment from Sensors & Software

TIPS: Collecting grid data around obstacles

There are times when you must deal with an obstacle in your grid survey area. You may encounter this in cemeteries, wooded areas or even at gas stations.

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Person pushing lmx across pavement

LMX100™ for Buried Utility Locator | Sensors & Software Inc.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) use radio waves to non-destructively locate objects and subsurface structures in materials like soil, rock, concrete, asphalt, wood and water.

Sensors & Software Inc. is a GPR manufacturer that is recognized worldwide for its commitment to technical excellence, continuous innovation and responsive customer service. 

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Police officers using FINDAR

Tips – Forensic Investigations

GPR is a go-to tool for law enforcement professionals searching for buried forensic evidence. Here are a couple of tips when using GPR for forensic investigations.10Find Evidence, not Rocks. GPR technology is very sensitive to material changes which can result in many responses.

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people collecting data using Sensors & Software equipment

GPR Helps Solve the Mystery of the Hole in the Dune

Mt. Baldy, in the eastern part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, is the largest active dune along the southern Lake Michigan shoreline and a popular recreational facility for local residents and tourists. In July 2013, a 6-year-old boy walking on the dune fell into a hole that suddenly opened up underneath him.

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Smart Chariot being towed behind car

Streamline your Data Collection with SmartChariot

Our customers are always looking for ways to simplify GPR data collection and increase productivity in the field. This is especially true when large areas need to be surveyed; covering these areas with a GPR cart or hand-towed configuration is usually too time-consuming or simply not feasible. 

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Construction worker using an LMX200

GPR for Underground Utility Locating | Sensors & Software Inc.

A key part of project planning is knowing exactly what lies beneath the surface at a site. This case study demonstrates a common use of GPR. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) use radio waves to non-destructively locate objects and subsurface structures in materials like soil, rock, concrete, asphalt, wood and water.

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Using the Water Table Reflection to Add Topography

The interface represents a very large change in electrical properties. The reflection from this interface can be one of the strongest interfaces seen with GPR.

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man scanning concrete pillar for rebar using gpr

Advantages of Integrating GPR in Concrete Inspection

Amongst the non-destructive technologies for imaging and assessing the interior of concrete structures, ground penetrating radar (GPR) has emerged in recent years as a leading tool. Unlike traditional X-raying,

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