New technology being developed jointly by the University of Vermont and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga could reduce utility inspections to an afternoon’s work, instead of taking months using the current permit-dig-map process.
The award-winning research project, “Underground Infrastructure Sensing,” is is being supported by two National Science Foundation grants and one from U.S. Ignite.
Directed by Dryver Huston, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Vermont, the project's technology, which Huston describes as “cognitive” ground penetrating radar (GPR), has two major components.
An advanced GPR system scans an area, then knits the scan into a map using a common 3D scanning smart phone app. The phone's augmented reality software converts the data into a recognizable image.
“The net result is that the system knows where you are, knows what’s underneath, and can show you detailed images of what’s there,” Huston said.
Proof of concept - called 'ground truthing' by Huston's team - is showing their technology is on track. Read more about how Cognitive GPR will make construction in urban areas more exact, safer and less time consuming in the University of Vermont's article What lies beneath: 'Cognitive' GPR could vastly speed urban construction