February 2018 Vol. 73 No. 2

New Products

First Look: US Radar Unveils GP Rover Combined GPR, GPS Unit

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment for locating buried utilities is an option that has been available for several years, but US Radar has taken the technology a step further combining subsurface GPR and global position system (GPS) technologies.

US Radar’s new GP Rover, with advanced triple-bandwidth, ground-penetrating radar technology and global GPS connectivity, can create subsurface maps in real time, accurate within two inches. Triple-frequency radar technology locates and provides imaging of objects at greater depths and with higher resolution than competitive single- or dual-frequency systems.

“With the new US Radar GP Rover, the days of having to make an intersection look like a graffiti-covered subway car are changing,” said Ron LaBarca, president of US Radar. “Until now, the a utility mark-out was flags and spray-paint markings. Now, we have documentation that can be handed to a backhoe or a directional drill operator after the mapping is complete. Maps created using the GP Rover provide a permanent and updateable record that can be shared by all contributors to a project. It can be integrated with existing maps or updated with new information.”

Field data collected by the GP Rover may be saved and shared in any of the five most-common file formats – SHP, DXF, KMZ, CSV, RTF – used in popular mapping and engineering applications, such as AutoCad, Google Earth, GIS and point files.

LaBarca said the GP Rover combines high accuracy and differential GPR locating capabilities with the most-accurate and -responsive GPS location-positioning software in an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use operator interface. Newly patented tilt-correction technology automatically compensates for slope and cross-slope of GPR and GPS antennas to increase overall accuracy on uneven terrain.

Easy operations

The GP Rover does not require complicated setup and network configuration. It automatically connects to the worldwide GPS network and configures as soon as the radar is turned on.

“With GP Rover,” LaBarca continued, “any operator can create an accurate point file, preserve location points without destructive surface markings, display location points on the integrated computer screen, export points to mapping applications and view in real-time locations on as-built maps.”

A key benefit of the GP Rover is that it can be used effectively anywhere in the world because it connects with the global Starfire GPS network – a service of John Deere subsidiary NAVCOM – eliminating the need for connection subscriptions.

The GP Rover uses the same battery for both GPR and GPS systems, eliminating costly additional batteries. It has a waterproof and dust-proof antenna, and the system qualifies for an IP65 weatherproof rating.

An exclusive “field-to-finish” capability in US Radar’s software program – Radar Studio – saves time and eliminates possible confusion and error by automatically mapping coordinate points that are identified with the same name; e.g., “Gas Line 1.”

Among the potential users are contractors, engineers, utility-locating service providers, public works organizations, utility companies, municipalities, planners, architects, surveyors, property owners, oil fields, ports and

GPR technology is becoming more popular as an option for locating buried utility infrastructure.

“More and more cities, property owners and general contractors are requiring their contractors and subs to use radar before they dig,” LaBarca said. “Use of GPR is growing with the technology and is experiencing greater acceptance than ever.”

Diminishing limitations

A limitation of GPR equipment, however, has been its inability to effectively find objects in certain types of soil such as clay.

“Through experience and dedicated engineering, we’re navigating the challenge that difficult soil conditions such as clays can present,” LaBarca said. “Every advance in processing, algorithm development and bandwidth enhancements has given us greater capability than we’ve had before. Our triple-bandwidth systems pack a powerful punch in all soil conditions.

“Resolution and electronics have evolved to the point that we’re getting greater resolution and depth. US Radar’s GPR units have the highest bandwidth of many radars on the market, and gives them the potential to generate unsurpassed images,” he added. “Accuracy is critical because mistakes are deadly. As we’ve expanded into a more digital platform, our processing capabilities have expanded exponentially.”

LaBarca believes the new US Radar GP Rover represents a sea change for utility-locating services.

“We all know that change can be intimidating for people who are entrenched in their current way of doing things,” he concluded. “But those who embrace this new technology will be doing their customers a real service, and they will prosper.”

US Radar offers a full range of single-bandwidth systems, including the popular Q5C system, as well as the innovative triple-bandwidth Quantum Imager.

Based in Morganville, NJ, US Radar is a leading manufacturer and innovator of GPR and subsurface imaging systems. The company’s technology was first developed in the 1980s to locate plastic landmines. US Radar has been innovating GPR technology for a worldwide customer base since 1994.


US Radar
(732) 566-2035, USRadar.com

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