Sentinel USA a provider of automated mapping, facilities management and geographic information system services has announced a new strategic alliance with Guardian Angel Protection, which specializes in providing companies and cities with innovative solutions for new business development within the utility sector. They have jointly introduced the latest in Real-Time GPS Damage Prevention Technology with the help of Progress Energy’s Eastern North Carolina Natural Gas.
The goal was to combine several proven technologies and use them to minimize the human and environmental risks associated with accidents involving buried facilities such as pipelines, electrical wires, telecommunications cables, water pipes, and sewage lines. The product was developed with the knowledge gained from testing hardware systems and software data. The system’s core strength is in its ability to harness the power of real-time GPS and to store data for locating underground utilities. The system is installed on earth-moving equipment and corporate vehicles. It is also available for personnel through the use of handheld devices and wearable vest units. The personnel have access to this information in real-time for all phases of field construction where deaths and damages occur most often.
The system uses GPS to pinpoint the location of equipment and provides a visual utility locating interface. This includes a mobile digital GPS mapping display that provides an early warning system to operators about underground utilities and personnel. The unit is equipped with visual map displays, strobes, and audio alerts to indicate when earth-moving equipment approaches an underground utility. The system continuously scans the GPS database for coordinates of utility hazards. It has been designed with distance tolerances to dictate when it is appropriate to display a visual warning and/or audio alert.
The team demonstrated the system for local Emergency Management officials, Department of Transportation employees, utility personnel and contractors.
Accidents involving underground utilities are a growing problem that result in environmental destruction, property damage, injuries, and deaths. The accident average has risen to one incident per day. In addition, approximately $1 billion US dollars have been spent on environmental damage alone since 1986. However, with the latest in US government support and technology, it is believed that these statistics can be dramatically reduced – saving money, and most importantly, lives.