Providing accurate Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) imaging is anything but simple. Each site demands a unique assessment and approach by the technician, and an understanding of how external factors can affect the radar.
Certain challenges make it necessary for the technician to be a creative problem solver on-site. Keen observation of the following elements can help to determine the difficulty of a GPR scan:
- What is the best way to access the scanning area? If it’s in a crawl space, will light be provided? If it’s overhead, is it more convenient to use a lift or a ladder?
- How difficult is it to get in and out of the scanning area? Should all anticipated equipment and backups be brought in up-front?
- Will other construction crews be in the area at the same time? Is there a risk of getting blocked in or of not being seen by heavy equipment operators?
- Is there standing water or ice covering the scanning area? If so, can it be dried?
- Is there any shrubbery blocking access or covering the ground (for utility scans)?
- Do high winds pose a threat to overhead installations or ladder stability?
- Are live wires running through the scanning area?
- Is the scanning site large enough to provide sufficient range of motion for the GPR equipment?
- Is the targeted area under or near a wall? (The shape of the equipment makes it difficult to search within several inches of a wall)
- Can the area be expanded if necessary?
- Might other substances, such as insulation or waterproofing, interfere with the radar equipment?
- Can interfering materials be removed?
- Can the technician access the site from a different side?
To the extent possible, it is recommended to set the scope of work and answer these questions before arriving onsite. However, it’s also important to remember that even in the face of certain obstacles, there will always be a solution and the best GPR experts will call upon their training and innovation to get the results a customer needs.
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