The Basics Of What Is GPR


GPR or ground penetrating radar is a technology that can be used in a number of industries. Before looking at the uses, it is important to know how what is GPR. The answer to what is GPR starts with the 3 parts of the technology which are the control unit, the antenna, and the power supply.

The Control Unit And Antenna

The control unit of GPR will house the electronics which trigger the radar energy that the technology uses. The control unit will have a built-in computer as well as a hard drive or SSD. There are some systems that require a laptop connection with control software to be used.

When in use, the antenna will receive an impulse from the control unit which it amplifies. This amplified pulse will be transmitted to the ground at a set frequency. The frequency being used will determine the depth of penetration. Higher frequencies are able to detect smaller targets and should be one of the major factors to consider when getting GPR.

How The Pulse Works

When the antenna sends the signal into the ground, it will be looking for any reflected signal. To scan an area, a series of pulses will be sent into the ground. When the pulse comes into contact with an object in the ground, the signal will be reflected back to the GPR.

The strength of the returned signal will tell the GPR more about the material it has encountered. If the pulse encounters wet sand after passing through dry sand, there will be a strong reflective signal. However, the signal will be weak if it has moved from dry sand to limestone.

There are some materials that do not allow the signal to pass through them. Metal is one of these materials and considered a complete reflector. If the GPR encounters metal, anything below this will be invisible to the radar.

The Data Processing

The data that the control unit receives from the antenna will be collected in parallel transects. This will then be placed together by the computer software house in the control unit or the laptop which is attached to it. The software will create a horizontal surface and a depth record based on the ability of the technology.

There are different functions that can be used in the software depending on what you need from the GPR. If you simply need to know the location of a target item, a simple linescan format can be used. However, if more detail is required, it is possible to create a detailed subsurface map. What is possible will vary on the GPR being used and the sophistication of the software.

Some software will be able to use mathematical functions to remove background interference. This software will also be able to calculate more accurate depths and migrate hyperbolas.

GPR or ground penetrating radar can be used in many industries, but knowing how it works can help you choose the right one. The strength of the antenna will determine the depth you can check and the software will help you plot the information that you need.

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