Forum dedicated to Ground Penetrating Radar technology
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 Post subject: Newbie
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:29 am 

Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 8:33 am
Posts: 6
Hi everyone,

I'm quite new here but I have been reading here for a while.
As the topic-subject says I'm still a newbie. I work for an university and we are planning to expand our collection of soil-sensors with a GPR.
Do you have any recommendations of which system to use for soils and also some archeology and maybe some geology?
We have contacted some manufacturers but it is difficult for me to see "the trees inside the woods".


 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:16 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:52 am
Posts: 379
Location: Boden, Sweden
Hi Nuttieke,
Instead of telling you a specific brand name, because I'd suggest of course our products, I'll tell you what to search for.
In such a way you'll have a "shopping guide" instead of one brand avoiding biasing to Geoscanners here.
So, here it is your 10 point gpr shopping list:
    1. The system should be rugged enough to hold the abuse of field work. Most of the work will be done in
    harsh conditions so you need something that won't break after a few surveys.
    2. The system should be suited to your line of work, but still expandable. If you are only going to do geology
    surveys then there will be little use in buying a system that can do road assessment, this covers the antennas and the
    radar unit as well. If you are planning to expand in the future and do all kind of works then buy a unit that can be
    use with a wide range of antennas, including microwave antennas as well.
    3. The system should have good warranty terms. Most manufacturers are very generous with the warranty,
    but there are some which are not so good, so always ask what can you get and the terms of it.
    4. If you are not only interested in finding pipes then buy a unit that produce real data not pictures.For utility
    location companies a gpr that produces good looking profiles with easily identifiable targets in the shallow region might
    be more than appropriate. These units serve a purpose and have a corresponding low price tag, but they will let you down
    when trying to do some more serious work. So, always ask what kind of data the system produce and the possibility to
    export into other formats to use available post-processing tools.
    5. Ask for demo data in the field of surveys you intend to use your unit. It is important that you know what to
    expect from the unit you are buying, so it is important to see real examples of data with the unit you are planning to buy.
    Be aware that many companies, specially the ones from the North are in areas of extremely good conditions for gpr surveys
    and the data they will give you most of the time is perfect, almost text book quality. Please ask for data taken in tough
    conditions, Northern Italy, Central France, China (Shanghai, Wuhan etc) come to mind directly. Look at the ugly, the pretty
    always is a piece of cake to interpret anyway.
    6. Check for the speed of survey. This probably doesn't apply to your particular case, but machines that can make
    5 traces (scans if you like) per second are useless while surveying roads or for any other survey paid by the hour. Always ask
    the maximum amount of traces/sec with a reasonable range. Statements like 300 traces/sec with 128 samples/trace and
    32ns range are useless, check real ranges with real amount of samples/trace.

    7. Ask for software packages, what can you get bundled and possible upgrades. Software is an important part
    of any gpr survey and therefore you should be aware of what you can get and how much it costs. Avoid being "surprised'
    later on, ask for demos, examples and everything you can get to allow you to make a sound decision.
    10.Ask for training, availability and price. If you are a "newbie" in this field of technology then a guiding hand
    at the very firsts steps is much needed, ask what kind of training you can get, if there are any "applications engineers"
    available to ask "silly questions" etc. You are going to need all the help you can get, so it is worth knowing where to get it
    9. Check for spares, availability and prices. Spares are an important part of any equipment not only gpr
    systems, so check how to order spares, accessories, upgrades etc and possible prices.
    10. Check for repairs how they are handled and eventual costs. It might never happen, but if it does it is a
    good idea to know what can you expect from the company you are buying your equipment from. Transport terms, repair
    time, prices etc.
This list is by no means exhaustive or complete, I invite everyone to comment it and add his/her own suggestions to it.
Best regards and good luck with your purchase.

Reinaldo Alvarez Cabrera
Geoscanners AB

 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:38 am 

Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 8:33 am
Posts: 6
Wow, thanks a lot for your answer!
I think it will prove to be very useful during my 'quest' for a suitable GPR-system.

 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:19 pm 

Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 8:33 am
Posts: 6
Next week I'm going to the GPR 2010 conference in Italy, so I hope I will learn more and be able to ask some intelligent questions afterwards :-)

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