Portsmouth, UK, 28 June 2007: A new mobile radar system that sees through road surfaces has been launched by Data Collection Limited, a highway surveying company.
Using a specially designed vehicle that can survey at normal traffic speeds, the ground-penetrating radar creates a cross-sectional profile of the subsurface. Highways engineers can use this information to accurately assess the road’s condition, providing vital information for planning repairs and re-surfacing.
The ground penetrating radar (GPR) is fitted to a new £1 million electronic survey vehicle called ARAN2. The vehicle is also equipped with surface scanning systems and advanced technology that detects cracks as small as two millimetres. The vehicle allows both surface and subsurface data to be collected at the same time.
The radar works by emitting precisely timed pulses of radio frequency energy into the road surface. With the transition of the pulses from one material to another, such as from asphalt to a concrete layer, part of the energy echoes back to the surface. The returning signals are captured and processed to create accurate cross-sectional profiles of the subsurface.
With the GPR-equipped ARAN2, the seamless survey data can be collected whilst travelling at normal traffic speeds. For the first time, whole stretches of highway can be surveyed at speed creating additional condition data. This GPR information maps layers to an accuracy of between 5mm and 10mm, giving highway engineers a picture of the road make-up and condition.