What is GPR?
GPR is a non-intrusive method that uses radio waves to investigate underground utilities. GPR helps to detect subsurface objects and changes in material properties. It is a cost-effective way of surveying. It is safe and provides more accurate and detailed results. GPR uses radio waves in the microwave band, ranging from 1 to 1000 MHz. It requires two main pieces of equipment – a transmitter and a receiving antenna. The transmitter transfers electromagnetic energy into the soil and other materials under the surface. GPR functions by sending a radio wave into the ground and recording the echoes resulting from underground surface objects.
What is a Drone?
Drones, often referred to as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (UAVs) can be controlled remotely and can fly at various altitudes. It is operated without a pilot and depends on sensors and LIDAR detectors to calculate its movement.
Can GPR-drone be used:
Yes, it is possible. GPR for drones can be used to see through the rocks, buildings, ground surfaces, ice, which helps in efficient surveying in hazardous environments. At times, GPR surveys can be dangerous for personnels due to harsh weather conditions. Drone, being lightweight and easily transportable enhances the process of a survey when integrated with GPR.
When the drone or UAV takes off, the software integrated with the drone automatically starts recording information from the GPR. The personnels can view the radar details and monitor survey information on a remote screen. The recorded details can be transferred to ground control software once the drone lands on the surface.
Benefits of GPR for drones:
In recent times, drone technology has a great impact on various industries like construction, utilities, agriculture, mining, and warehousing. Drone has become an easily accessible tool for many projects and there are numerous benefits for surveying.
- Efficiency: Personnels can save time by using drones to capture details of the exact areas required for the survey. Drone enables to collect data in large areas and varied topography. It is a cost-effective process that helps in completing the survey faster by using less invasive methods.
- Accuracy: As drones fly at low altitudes, precisely targeting the survey area, it enhances the data resolution for surveying. GPR provides extremely accurate results and high-quality documentation.
- Safety: Survey personnels can now experience an easy survey process in harsh weather conditions and tough terrain. They can work remotely by sending the drone into an unsafe and hazardous environment. This helps in reducing the risk of accidents and injuries at work.
- Versatile Technology: Through drone technology, technicians can access a vast range of the surface which was impossible in the past without large and specialized equipment. Drones are used for various industrial purposes like thermal imaging, land surveying, laser scanning, mapping underground infrastructures, etc.
It has become easier to survey busy roads, flooded areas, or over-populated cities with UAVs. It is possible to see the underground surfaces, ice, rocks, buildings and other hard structures with GPR for drones. GPR-drones can be incorporated to measure the depth of freshwater and frozen surfaces or access the bottom of bodies including lakes, ponds, and rivers.
While accessing underground infrastructures, technicians need not excavate the ground. This is a valuable advantage as GPR helps to save the excavation cost in this case and also gives accurate details of the existing structures.
GPR is the most advanced technology which makes more things possible. It helps the land developers in recent developments, engineers in construction projects, and more by making their jobs safer and more efficient.
However, the common concern about UAV is privacy. Drones can record details and capture images without drawing attention. It also impacts wildlife when used in prohibited areas. Despite of these negative facts, drones can be environmentally useful in many ways. They can operate and fly for several hours just like a rechargeable camera. Apart from this, they can be used for collecting climate-related data, monitoring nature, or for aerial mapping. They can even be used to detect environmental disasters in unsafe areas during floods or heavy storms.
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