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Notes from the Classroom: Student-Led Science using GPR
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ensors & Software supports the use of GPR in educational facilities around the world. We provide materials to assist instructors in teaching the theory behind GPR as well as providing free software licenses for laboratory computer rooms. We also offer GPR systems for field schools and special research projects. Below, Dr. Del Bohnenstiehl describes his experience using GPR to enhance his courses at North Carolina State University.

Over the last ten years North Carolina State University (NCSU) has trained hundreds of Marine and Earth Science majors in Ground Penetrating Radar techniques. The pulseEKKO PRO GPR system and the EKKO_Project software suite make it possible for students to follow the workflow from the field into the laboratory.

pulseEKKO PRO 250 and 500 MHz systems at Oak Grove Cemetery.
Figure 1:
pulseEKKO PRO 250 and 500 MHz systems at Oak Grove Cemetery.

This semester the Environmental and Engineering Geophysics class at NCSU took on the challenge of delineating unmarked graves within portions of Raleigh’s Oak Grove cemetery—using 250 and 500 MHz antennas deployed on SmartCarts (Figure 1). Data images from the GPR survey are shown in Figure 2. The data images show undisturbed stratigraphy to the left and a series of burials at variable depths to the right.

pulseEKKO PRO 250 and 500 MHz systems at Oak Grove Cemetery.
Figure 2:
250 MHz GPR data from Oak Grove Cemetery:

(Top): GPR depth slice map at a depth of 80-90 cm superimposed on the Google Earth image of the cemetery. The three red areas are interpreted as burials as they correspond to the hyperbolic responses seen in the GPR line below.
(Bottom) GPR line through the center of the grid. Red markers identify reflections from the tops of burials.

Projects like this allow students to tackle real-world problems and connect the University with community groups who are actively engaged in efforts to preserve the City’s historic cemeteries.

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