Utility Detection : Explained

Underground scanning is a necessary service across countless industries — in fact, nearly anyone that owns any property will benefit from utility detection services. Though the underground mapping is necessary and common, the terminology can be challenging to understand. Learning more about utility detection services will allow you to be more informed in making decisions regarding your property and in finding the right utility detection team, should you need one in the future.

What is Utility Detection?

Utility Detection, also known as underground mapping or underground cable finding, is important for many individuals that own properties or plan to undergo construction projects in the near future. Underground cable finding is the process of locating and recording underground structures, such as pipes, cables, and other utilities that may be found below the surface. This provides necessary, and often, legally required, information that is vital for the safety and cost effectiveness of upcoming projects and being informed in the event of an emergency. 

What is GPR?

GPR is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to penetrate and map the subsurface of the earth. It uses high-frequency radio waves and transmits a signal into the ground. When the waves hits a buried object the receiving antenna records variations in the reflected return signal. GPR can be used in a variety of media, including rock, soil, ice, pavements and structures. It can detect objects, changes in material, and voids and cracks.

How do EM/RF Locators work?

When completing a comprehensive underground scanning project, EM/RF Locators, also known as Electromagnetic or Radio Frequency Locators, are used to find underground utilities that are made of metal — including, but not limited to some gas and water pipes and communication cables. EM/RF Locators work in two ways: conductive, where the radio signal is transmitted directly into the pipe or cable by connecting the transmitter directly to the utility, or inductive, where the radio signal is transmitted without a physical connection. 

Who are the Operatives?

Operatives are the individuals that work on site to collect and analyze the data for each underground scanning project. While the experience and education of the operatives vary from company to company, at UDS Civils, our operatives are highly trained, equipped with the latest technology, and have the experience and knowledge to deal with unforeseen circumstances seamlessly.

What is the GSSI GPR?

The GSSI GPR is the GPR equipment utilized by the UDS Civils team. Understanding the equipment used by the company you are contracting for utility mapping services is an important part of understanding the quality of service and value you will receive. The GSSI GPR is the only GPR device on the market currently that is designed with utility detection in mind, delivering the most reliable and accurate data.

These terms provide a small glimpse into the process of underground scanning. Because there is no one tool that can provide the complete details needed for reliable underground mapping, UDS Civils uses a variety of these tools and technologies when completing a utility detection project, as they all serve different purposes. Using a strategic set of tools allows for the most accurate and comprehensive analysis of the underground utilities on a property.

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