SPIDAR® SDK – GPR under your control!
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SPIDAR® SDK – GPR under your control!


SPIDAR® SDK (Software Development Kit) is a new product now available from Sensors & Software. It is designed for customers who would like a GPR system that they can control with their own data acquisition software.

SPIDAR® SDK allows users to control a NOGGIN® or pulseEKKO® GPR system, opening a world of new product possibilities. Add GPR to your platform and create a system that can image the subsurface with GPR as it works. Add value to your robot, excavator, mining machine, or any other equipment. Create a new imaging device that solves a problem in your industry and introduce it to the world! There are endless opportunities for adding GPR to your platform and augmenting its capabilities with the ability to image the subsurface (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Various equipment that Sensors & Software GPRs have been added to over the years. The SPIDAR® SDK makes integrating GPR with your system easier than ever.

The SPIDAR® SDK gives customers the software commands to control a single NOGGIN® system (Figure 2) or a single pulseEKKO® Transmitter-Receiver pair (Figure 3). These systems have a range of antenna frequencies for deep penetration, shallow, high resolution, or anything in between.

Figure 2
A SPIDAR® SDK system with a NOGGIN® 500 MHz GPR system. NOGGIN® systems are available with center frequencies of 100, 250, 500 and 1000 MHz.

Figure 3
A SPIDAR® SDK system with a pulseEKKO® 100 MHz GPR system. pulseEKKO® systems have antennas with center frequencies of 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, 250, 500 and 1000 MHz.

With SPIDAR® SDK activated, the standard SPIDAR® hardware, a NIC-500, has an additional mode called “SDK”, which allows it to listen and respond to the commands that your software sends to it. Develop your own software to control the data acquisition with the GPR. Here is a list of some of the commands available to control a GPR system:

  1. Power up the GPR
  2. Set up GPR survey parameters:
    1. a. Antenna center frequency
      b. Time sampling interval
      c. Number of points per trace (related to time window and depth of investigation)
      d. Number of stacks
      e. Trigger mode
  3. Start data collection
  4. Stop data collection
  5. Check for errors
  6. Set date and time
  7. Extract date and time

SPIDAR® SDK includes a sample data acquisition program, written in Python, to get you up and started quickly. However, users can code their data acquisition program in any programming language that supports basic networking.

As well, the computer/tablet running the SPIDAR® data acquisition program can use any operating system: Windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi or Mac, providing it supports networking and has a web browser for the one-time setup of SPIDAR® SDK mode.

We see one of the common uses of SPIDAR® SDK being the development of multi-sensor systems, with GPR being one of several data streams. When other instruments are acquiring data in parallel with the GPR, the best method to correlate the data streams is to use the data collection time stamps. The time stamp of when a GPR trace was collected can be extracted at any time during data collection and correlated with the time stamps from other devices, for example, a GPS.

SPIDAR SDK® is not for everyone because it does require good computer programming skills, but for those interested in adding GPR to an existing product or creating a whole new product, it just might be the key to a game-changing product innovation.

For more information about SPIDAR® SDK, go to www.sensoft.ca/products/SPIDAR-SDK/overview or contact us

Top photo of moon-rover prototype courtesy of Michigan Technological University