Ground-Penetrating Radar on a Drone

Why GPR on a Drone

Higher survey accuracy

A drone can keep its speed and position more accurately than a person operating a vehicle or pushing a GPR cart.

Higher productivity

A drone-mounted GPR can perform surveys faster, more uniformly, and with higher degree of automation by following pre-planned missions.

Lower risk to personnel

No need for humans to enter dangerous or inaccessible areas.

Access to challenging environments

A person or a land vehicle might struggle on difficult terrain; this is not an issue for an airborne GPR.

Drone GPR

Solution Components

Drone GPR
1) GPR →Zond-12e 500A Ground-Penetrating Radar
Skyfront Perimeter 8 Drone with GPR
2) Drone (UAV) →Skyfront Perimeter 8 | or DJI Matrice 600 Pro | or drones with ArduCopter/PX4 firmware
SkyHub onboard computer and altimeter on a drone
3) SkyHub →UgCS SkyHub on-board computer
UgCS mission planning & control software
4) UgCS →Mission planning and flight control software
1

Zond-12e 500A GPR

Drone Ground Penetrating Radar

Designed for drone-based and on-the-ground surveys, Zond-12e 500A GPR is a 2-Channel Ground Penetrating Radar system with shielded antennas,

  • Center frequency: 500 MHz
  • Penetration from surface: 13-33 feet/ 4-10 m
  • Penetration from drone: 6.5-16.5 feet/ 2-5 m
  • Penetration from drone in freshwater:
    10 inches/ 0.25 m
  • Recommended distance between antenna & surface in drone GPR surveys:
    2 feet/ 0.6 m
  • Minimum size of detectable object from recommended altitude:
    4 inches/ 10.0 cm
  • Optional terrestrial cart is available for ground surveys.
  • Zond 500A GPR is FCC certified and ready for use in the US.*
2-a

UAV—Long-endurance Skyfront Perimeter 8

Skyfront Perimeter 8 drone

Skyfront Perimeter 8 drone is a long-endurance, long-range hybrid UAV with high payload capacity

    • ✓ Extreme endurance and range—proprietary hybrid power system enables 5+ hours or up to 110 miles/ 177 km flight
    • ✓ Highly reliable engine with high-efficiency power conversion
    • ✓ Full motor, propeller, and ESC redundancy
    • ✓ Excellent wind resistance, with maximum tested wind speeds of 25 mph/ 35 km/hr
    • ✓ Payload up to 17lbs/ 7.5kg
    • ✓ Cold temperature operation—as low as 15°F/ -10°C
    • ✓ Engine vibration dampening preserves sensor data quality
    • ✓ Other compatible and fully integrated payload options available
    • Choose from models of up to 30 mile/ 50 km, or up to 62 mile/ 100 km communication range.
2-b

UAV—DJI Matrice 600 or Matrice 600 Pro

DJI Matrice 600 Pro

DJI Matrice 600 Pro drone is designed for commercial and industrial applications and professional imaging

    • ✓ A3 Pro flight controller with triple modular redundancy
    • ✓ Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system
    • ✓ Compatible with D-RTK GNSS
    • ✓ 3 mile/ 5 km transmission range
    • ✓ Intelligent batteries and battery management system
    • ✓ Payload up to 13lbs/ 6kg
    • ✓ Supports ~25 minutes of flight time with the GPR system
    • ✓ Other compatible and fully integrated payload options available
    • This UAV is no longer available for purchase, but customers can use Matrice 600 Pro they already own.
3

SkyHub on-board computer

SkyHub onboard computer and altimeter on a drone

UgCS SkyHub is a hardware and software solution designed for payload integrations. It is used for:

  • ✓ Getting data from an external payload, such as a GPR—GPR trace is displayed in-flight
  • ✓ Getting flight parameters from a flight controller
  • ✓ Automatic logging and geotagging sensor data with GPS coordinates from the autopilot
  • ✓ Recording and conversion of data in formats convenient for processing and analysis
  • ✓ Custom flight control algorithms
  • ✓ Extended UAV diagnostics
  • ✓ Safely using drones in adverse environments and where precise altitude is required
  • System includes altimeter-based True Terrain Following (TTF) required for reliable drone GPR surveys.
4

UgCS Mission Planning & Control

UgCS mission planning & cotnrol software

UgCS is a commercial-grade, cross-UAV-platform mission planning and flight control software with advanced capabilities

  • ✓ Automated photogrammetry, vertical/façade scan, corridor mapping
  • ✓ Waypoints, linear, circle, perimeter, and area scan tools
  • ✓ Import and route creation from DTM/DSM and KML/CSV data, plus custom map overlays
  • ✓ Route splitting & merging, with actions for multiple segments
  • ✓ Map caching option to plan ahead and fly without the internet
  • ✓ High-accuracy, UAV-specific flight simulator to test missions ahead of field work
  • ✓ LIDAR-specific toolset (UgCS Enterprise)
  • ✓ Live, geotagged video streaming (UgCS Enterprise)
  • System includes support for Zond-12e 500A GPR—status of the current trace of radar and drone is displayed in UgCS.
  • Use code drarugcs when signing up for free trial of UgCS.

Applications for Drone-borne GPR

Underground infrastructure

Map subsurface utility infrastructure and utility networks

Utility search

Locate underground cables, water & sewage pipes, gas pipes, oil pipes, storage tanks

Geological stratigraphy

Reveal stratigraphic architecture, sand-body geometry, sedimentary structures

Glaciology

Measure ice and snow thickness, supraglacial debris thickness, ice core glacial-interglacial cycles

Geotechnical surveys

Uncover sinkholes, cavities, groundwater depths, groundswells

Mining & quarrying

Find rocks, fractures, shear zones, faults, joints, depth to bedrock

Archaeology

Search for artifacts, foundations, caves, tombs, tunnels, voids

Forensics

Detect buried evidence of graves, caches of weapons, drugs, money

Reinforced concrete evaluation

Evaluate as-built concrete components such as slabs, walls, columns, beams

Freshwater Bathymetry

Survey the bathymetry and sub-bottom features of freshwater lakes and rivers

Environmental remediation

Define landfills, contaminant plumes, storage tanks of potentially toxic materials

Military & Law enforcement

Expose buried unexploded ordnance (UXO),  bunkers, tunnels, and objects behind structures

Skyfront Perimeter 8 drone with GPR
Drone GPR

Call us at 773-772-7048 to find out more about drone-mounted Ground Penetrating Radar.

Contact us
Ground Penetrating Radar on a drone
*The FCC restricts sales and operations of the GPR device to specific groups. Drone GPR operators must comply with all pertinent FCC and FAA requirements, rules and regulations.
In addition to the drone-borne ground-penetrating radar, we offer integrated methane detection, metal detection, magnetometer, echo sounder, and altimeter drone-based systems.

 

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