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Louisiana Tech University

Trenchless Technology Center

Sensors Research

Underground Detection

Quality of the underground utility infrastructure is directly related to the economic potential of our society. Poor information on existing structures contributes substantially to the overall cost of their management and repair. Overall information on underground conditions may be obtained from an accurate underground detection.

Underground objects can be detected by intrusive and non-intrusive techniques. Intrusive techniques have broad and highly developed applications in certain areas, like investigations for tunnels, environmental contaminated sites, in an offshore oil and gas industry, but are not very practical in urban areas. In the noisy and complex underground environment beneath urban streets, non-intrusive techniques that provide sufficient resolution to resolve small underground objects for characterizing the shallow urban underground should be applied.

The researchers at the TTC have successfully developed various systems in the area of underground detection, including an electromagnetic ultra-wideband system for pipe inspection, a system for damage prevention during excavation, a fast trigger for discriminating the Ground-Penetrating Radar position above or under the ground position, and a system for fast determination of dielectric properties of soil as a function depth.

Several US patents were developed as a result of this work.