What is Ground Penetrating Radar?


Ground penetrating radar is a geophysical method to analyze and ausculate concrete and soil and applies to multitudes of applications. It uses the process of relatively low frequency pulse radars to get the information. Electromagnetic pulses are reflected at the boundary surfaces where the electrical properties of the material are changed, and are then detected by the receiving antenna.


Reflections are present mainly on the surface and back of the structures to be analyzed as well as boundary surfaces to sudden changes in the dielectric properties, eg. inclusions such as rebar. Depending on the frequency, it is possible to use this technology to scan a variety of materials, such as ice, rock, earth or concrete. That is why this technology is suitable for use in the fields of geology, archeology, mining, military applications, and concrete structures.

Are emissions from GPR represent a health hazard?

Emissions from GPR pose no danger to health or the user, nor for those in the vicinity of the unit.

caution tape

What objects can be detected with GPR?
Scan Plus detects all types of metal objects (eg. Rebar, clamping cables, copper or aluminum tubing, etc.) and all types of non-metallic (eg. Wood, layers of air, plastic, electrical lines, cables, glass fibers, etc.) located in the concrete. In addition, it is possible to identify objects in a plurality of layers depending on the nature of the concrete structure, spaces between the reinforcing bars, the size of the object and the depth of the object. It is also possible to indicate the thickness of a wall or a concrete slab.

Can Scan Plus locate and  identify the power lines? Yes, Scan Plus can locate power lines, but can not identify classes of materials. It is only possible to specify the layout of objects, the approximate depth and the route of the line.

Is it possible to use ground penetrating radar on different floor coverings

(hard wood, PVC, tiles)?

GPR can be used on different floor coverings. The results may possibly not always be satisfactory (eg. On tile or natural stone slabs). The tiles often contains quartz, which can interfere with the radar waves. The plastic film in the insulating layers, metal screens in soil systems and air layers in multilayer structures are also factors that can cause reductions in the power measurement or limit the depth measurement range.

Can GPR sweep through the plaster, insulating layers, etc.? It is possible to use ground penetrating radar to scan such media. The power measurement, however, decreases accordingly. GPR is intended to be used directly on concrete surfaces or on the ground and a further layer above the concrete; the layers containing metal or existing among the layers of air layers have a negative influence on the power measurement of the device.


Is it possible to use ground penetrating radar in nuclear power plants, airports and hospitals? In the vast majority of cases it is possible to use ground penetrating radar (radar equipment floor or wall), but the service technician must ensure that there is no sensitive system or radio stations around (airfields, radio astronomy stations, etc.) nearby. These items can be used as such by a service that has been set by the responsible local government. If such posts were near the place where the sensing device must be used, the operator must first contact the post before making sweeping operations in order to reach an agreement concerning the use of ground penetrating radar.

In conclusion, GPR is safe, reliable and gives great results. What is your experience with GPR? Don’t hesitate to comment below.