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How Ground Penetrating Radar Works

How Ground Penetrating Radar Works

There is a lot of planning involved in making sure a construction site is safe before work begins. One piece of technology that is incredibly useful in achieving this is Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR). Learn how ground penetrating radar works.


Before you complete work on a construction site, you must scan the area to ensure you won’t damage anything during the building process. A GPR will survey the area and find any utilities buried into the ground. This could include the following:

  • Water lines

  • Electrical lines

  • Post-tension cables

  • Gas lines

  • In-floor tubing

  • Voids embedded within concrete or soil

In addition to finding utilities in the ground of a construction site, a GPR can also scan walls, floors, and soils.


To locate any utilities buried deep within a construction site, you must utilize state-of-the-art technology. GPR devices bare an appearance similar to a lawnmower—it consists of a control unit screen, an antenna, and a power supply. The GPR functions when someone pushes it around the construction site. The technician will then look at the control unit screen and collect data that comes from the antenna radio frequency at the base of the GPR.


The GPR will send electromagnetic energy signals into the ground as it scans the construction area. The pulse from the GPR will calculate the depth of the ground. A high-frequency signal looks for small targets in shallow depths, such as concrete, while low-frequency is for large targets in deep depths, such as geological sites. The radar will show a dielectric value used to determine different velocities. For example, 1 will represent air, where the radar will travel the fastest. Water has a value of 81, which has the slowest travel time. Upside down U’s will represent this on the control unit screen of the GPR.


GPR professional services must be reliable, safe, time-efficient, experienced, and available—all qualities you can find at Diamond Concrete Sawing. Notable GPR projects completed under Diamond Concrete Sawing include the work completed in front of Michigan State University’s Spartan Stadium. We also worked on the People Mover at Joe Louis Arena—the former home of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings.


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