Publications / 2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA

A Multi-Sensory Approach to 3-D Mapping of Underground Utilities

L. Bernold, L. Venkatesan, S. Suvarna
Pages 525-530 (2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA, ISSN 2413-5844)

The demand for new buried utilities, such as gas, power and fiber-optic communication lines is growing with new construction, re-construction, and the growth of the communication infrastructure worldwide. Because the machinery for placing the new utilities underground, such as backhoe excavators, trenchers, augers, drills, and plows, don?t ?feel? when they are getting close to already buried object, utilities are easily damaged. Despite great efforts in locating existing utilities before a contractor is allowed to dig, accidents occur. This paper will present a novel technology for detecting and locating buried utilities that attaches to the digging equipment and utilizes both EMI (Electromagnetic Induction) and a GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar). The newest effort involves the development and performance analysis of algorithms to detect and extract the features and characteristics of these utilities, such as their orientation, diameters etc. One prime focus is to minimize the percentage of false alarms. For that purpose, the two sensor systems are fused to create a multi-sensory approach to 3-D mapping of all the utilities without a priori knowledge of their location

Keywords: Buried utility detection, Electromagnetic Induction, Ground Penetrating Radar, Sensor fusion