This project addresses the requirement for advanced technologies for locating; maintaining and rehabilitating buried infrastructures (area II.3.3). Specifically it fulfils the requirement for locating buried assets. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is the only known non-invasive technique that can detect metallic and non-metallic buried objects, but conventional pulse time-domain technology has reached the limit of its development potential. This project will use innovative techniques to provide a clear advance in the state of the art.
The project has three major objectives:
-To provide a step change in the depth penetration and spatial resolution of GPR used for surveys carried out from the ground surface. This will be achieved by increasing the frequency and dynamic range of the radar by researching and developing Stepped Frequency Continuous Wave techniques and ultra wide-band antennas whose performance is independent of ground characteristics.
-To prototype an innovative GPR-based real-time obstacle detection system for steerable bore- heads of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) pipe and cable laying systems so that they can operate more safely below ground. This will require new antenna designs to be developed to provide a look-ahead capability and robust systems to be designed to protect against the hostile mechanical environment
-To increase knowledge of the electrical behaviour of the ground, by means of in-situ measurements to enhance understanding of the sub-soil electrical environment, and to provide information for scientifically based antenna design.
The project will lead to practical solutions that can be implemented cost-effectively to provide a capability to locate buried infrastructure with accuracy and reliability. This will reduce the need for excavations in the highway, thus minimising direct and indirect costs, reducing the incidence of pollution and enhancing safety.
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