Kaneohe, Hawaii

A Brief History of Ground-Penetrating Radars December 6, 2017

Kaneohe, Koolaupoko
A Brief History of Ground-Penetrating Radars, Koolaupoko, Hawaii

You never know what lies just below the surface of the ground, which is why contractors use state-of-the-art surveying tools to determine where it is safe to dig. Unfortunately, some of these tools are safer than others, which is why some have questions about GPR, or ground-penetrating radars. Here is a brief history of GPR technology and why you shouldn’t worry about safety. 

Understanding Ground-Penetrating Radar Technology

What Is the History of GPR Systems?

Originally invented in 1910, early ground-penetrating radar systems relied heavily on X-rays to locate buried objects. By the early 1980s, contractors were using large X-ray systems to check for things like underground power lines and foreign metal objects, but these tools were rife with problems. In addition to only being able to scan 20 inches below the surface of the earth, old systems took a long time to collect the data they needed and used radioactive isotopes that compromised the safety of job sites. 

Fortunately, modern GPR systems send pulses of radio waves into the ground and read the results they ping back, creating images that workers can assess in real-time. In addition to giving contractors the opportunity to differentiate between geological materials, modern GPR systems can also detect electricity, water, and man-made materials. 

Should You Worry About Safety? 

ground penetrating radarBecause today’s ground-penetrating radar tools use radio waves instead of X-rays, the equipment poses virtually no risk to the operator, the job site, or the people who might work in the buildings erected on the job site in the future. In fact, research has shown that modern GPR systems emit about 1% of the energy emitted by a standard cell phone signal.


If your company is breaking ground on a construction project and you need underground scanning, turn to Haggith’s Structural Scan & Inspection in Kaneohe, HI. In addition to helping contractors avoid volcanic deposits and underground utility lines by way of ground-penetrating radar systems, this team of professionals is dedicated to non-destructive testing and preserving job sites. To learn more about their company, visit them online or call (808) 239-4330.

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