Ground Penetrating Radar for Drone

Acquire subsurface data quick, safe and efficient!

GPR+drone integrated system enables to see through the surface of the ground, ice, rocks, freshwater at unsafe and hazardous environments without compromising the safety of staff, providing an additional solution for more efficient surveying.

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Why use GPR with drone?

Time-efficient
Acquire data faster compared to traditional methods
Precision
Drone's precise positioning and rangefinder systems result in high accuracy measurements
Cost-efficient
UAV surveys are more cost-effective compared to manned flights
Increased staff safety
The integrated system can be used at unsafe and hazardous environments without compromising the safety of staff
Automated flight
Drone ensures higher accuracy in following survey lines thanks to the inbuilt GPS and automated flight mode.
Accessibility
Location not reachable by foot can be reached by drone

How it works

The system consists of a UAV integrated with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). The full integration is ensured by adding the onboard computer UgCS SkyHub to the system. Drone's flight is planned and managed using the full functionality of UgCS.

You can choose between a ready-to-use system or components like the UgCS SkyHub integration kit for self-assembling.

UAV
UAV
An off-the-shelf or custom-built UAV based on DJI A3 flight controller, i.e. DJI M600/M600 Pro
GPR
GPR

GPR selected based on the survey's goals

UgCS SkyHub
UgCS SkyHub

Radar's data logging is started automatically and geotagged with GPS coordinates from the autopilot

Data-sheet
User Manual

Altimeter
Altimeter

Laser or Radar altimeter to fly automatically in True Terrain Following (TTF) mode

UgCS
UgCS

Flight planning and control software displaying GPR's status data and its current trace
ugcs.com

INTRODUCTION WEBINAR

Why to use Airborne GPR+drone

The webinar gives an introduction to the use of #airborne #GPR on #drones - the possibilities offered by the GPR+drone integrated system. The webinar covers the basics of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) usage with a drone:

  1. What is a GPR and why use it with a drone?
  2. Planning and the flight of a drone survey mission with GPR (in simulation mode)
  3. Demonstration of data analysis using data acquired during surveys: - pipeline inspection - locating a lost WWII fighter plane in Greenland
  4. Q&A

Applications

Small objects detection

Radar Systems Zond-12e #Drone 1000a #GPR system is applicable to detect small objects with a diameter starting from 8cm and pipes/cables with a diameter starting from 3cm. The GPR+drone integrated system can be used both with a drone or for terrestrial surveys if conditions don't allow to use a drone.

Dataset - Small objects detection in wet sandy soil >>>

Bathymetry of fresh water

The GPR-drone integrated system enables to measure the depth of water or profiling the bottom of freshwater rivers, lakes, ponds up to 15 meters in depth.

Benefits – possibility to do work even when the water is frozen or the surface of the water is partially covered with ice. Compared to bathymetry using a boat (equipped with echo sounders) the drone with a GPR provides better accuracy in following survey lines thanks to the inbuilt GPS and automated flight. Also, in most cases, a drone makes it a lot easier to deliver the necessary equipment to the desired area. More detailed about airborne GPR for bathymetry >>>

The result displayed in Figure 3 was gathered with the drone flying at an altitude of 2 meters above the water surface, speed 2 m/s. Airborne GPR datasets >>>

GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS FOR LAYERS PROFILING

Strata profiling is a standard task that needs to be done before any serious area development or construction works. The standard technique is drilling dozens of holes or conducting a GPR survey on carts.

GPR+drone integrated system delivers higher work productivity and enables safer work conditions for the personnel in cases of rough terrain.

GPR allows finding any potentially dangerous underground water streams or lakes.

Data gathered by GPR on the drone flying at an altitude of 1 meter over an asphalt-covered car parking lot. The layers are clearly visible.

Data set can be downloaded here - https://files.ugcs.com/s/zR5LZJmZoSKHKYr

Mapping of underground infrastructure

Mapping of underground infrastructure is an important task before starting any construction works on previously developed territories or in cases when actual documentation and maps for underground infrastructure is missing.

Airborne GPR datasets >>>

True Terrain Following

Acquire the best possible data by flying the GPR as low as possible mimicking the relief of the surface. Adding an altimeter to the system will enable to fly in True Terrain Following mode.

UgCS SkyHub enables the drone to fly at low altitudes (up to 1 meter) without a need to import precise Digital Elevation Model (DEM) height-map into UgCS.

UgCS SkyHub Data-sheet
UgCS SkyHub User Manual

Case Studies

Bathymetric survey of Silkeborg Lake

Customer: Landinspektorer A/S geopartner.dk

Goal: Determine the change of bottom shape of water reservoir's due to exploitation

Technology: Drone integrated system with Cobra Plug-In GPR SE-150 antenna

Flight control: UgCS

Result: Profile of the freshwater reservoir defining its depth

Full GPR data samples >>>

Location of underground gas pipes

Pilot project in collaboration with: Conexus Baltic Grid, JSC

Goal: verify the applicability of airborne Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) to locate underground gas pipes.

Technology: 124 MHz and 500 MHz GPR antennas integrated with a drone.

Flight control: UgCS with True Terrain Following mode.

Result: The 700mm steel pipe is clearly detectable from altitude up to 7meters using 500 MHz GPR system in sandy soil (typical for Latvia).

Acquired data samples >>>

Locating aircraft buried under Greenland's ice

Customer:  Arctic Hotpoint Solutions and Fallen American MIA Repatriation Foundation (FAMIARF)

Goal: Locate the P-38 “Echo” a U.S. dogfighter lost during the events of WWII

Technology: GPR+drone integrated system managed with UgCS software

Result: Acquired data showed anomalies at a depth of around 100m

Read the full article about the expedition on the xyHt.com magazine.

Airborne GPR datasets >>>

Archaeological investigation of Inca ruins

Customer: Archeological surveyors, Peru

Goal: Test systems applicability for archeological investigation to locate remains of Inca ruins

Technology: integrated Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) with a drone equipped with an altimeter, allowing the drone to fly in the True Terrain Following mode.

Flight control: UgCS with True Terrain Following mode

Result: Acquired data with detected anomalies, to be used for further research

Freshwater bathymetry

Customer: Topodrone.org

Goal: Determine the change of bottom shape of water reservoir's due to exploitation

Technology: GPR+drone integrated system

Flight control: UgCS

Result: Profile of the freshwater reservoir defining its depth

Project 1667 - searching the Gold Ship wreck

Customer: Project 1667

Goal: Determine the applicability of GPR at the current area at ocean shoreline

Technology: integrated Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) with a drone equipped with an altimeter, allowing the drone to fly in the True Terrain Following mode.

Flight control: UgCS with True Terrain Following mode

Result: GPR proves to be applicable at areas in some distance from ocean shoreline - test data analysis presents penetration of up to 5-10 meters

Technical specification

Currently, SPH Engineering provides 5 setup configurations for the GPR-drone integrated system. All systems are integrated with DJI M600/M600 Pro drone.

Supported GPR systems are:

Technical specifications of available configurations
  Radar Systems Zond-12e
Drone 1000a
Radar Systems Zond-12e
Drone 500a
Radarteam Drone CBD
 
Radarteam Cobra
Plug-In SE-70
Radarteam Cobra
Plug-In SE-150
Frequency range, MHz 600-1300 200-900 50-1400 20-140 20-280
Bandwidth, MHz 700 800 1350 120 260
Centre frequency, MHz 1000 500 500 80 124
Size (L x W x H), cm 41 x 31 x 18 41 x 31 x 18 50 x 35 x 20 139 x 15 x 21 92 x 22 x 22
Weight, kg 3,2 3,2 5,2 4,9 4,6
DJI M600 Pro drone with GPR
Take-off weight
with TB47S batteries, kg 13,6 13,6 14,3 14,3 14,1
with TB48S batteries, kg 14,1 14,1 14,8 14,8 14,6
Approximate flight time
with TB47S batteries, min 18 18 15 15 16
with TB48S batteries, min 24 24 19 19 20
Maximum length of survey line (speed 2m/s)
with TB47S batteries, m 2160 2160 1800 1800 1920
with TB48S batteries, m 2880 2880 2280 2280 2400

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