Now we have some of the basics of GPR, from the "The 6 basic aspects of GPR", the question on everyone’s lips….what’s the best GPR? There are many manufacturers out there and all will tell you theirs is the best. It’s a little like buying a car - you don’t just walk into a dealer and say, ‘Sell me a car’. They will of course do that because that was what you asked. You do your homework, you read the specs, all easily found on the internet. Make the decision, single frequency or dual frequency, ultra-wide band, which frequency?
Again, a back-to-basics approach, look at what you will be using the system for, the questions are simple;
- Is the system for utility location only? If the answer is yes, then you will want to be able to move it around easily so it will have to have wheels. You may just look at a simpler push along system with a simple user interface, a push-and-go system. Some manufacturers offer a more modular approach so the original system can be expanded at a later date.
- Do you want single frequency or dual frequency? Think about what the system will do (remember question 1). The majority of buried utilities are in the first four metres of the ground they are buried in, so you will want to be able to ‘see’ that deep. Dual frequency systems address the matter by giving a lower frequency antenna for deeper scanning and a higher frequency for shallower scanning with a cross-over point in the data where both antennas ‘meet’. Not to say though that a single frequency system won’t give good results - they do – it’s a personal choice and what you, the user, want and are comfortable with.
- Will the system be used with a GPS or total station for positioning? Look at connection compatibility before making a purchase.
- What’s the collection / operating software like to work with on a day-to-day basis? There’s nothing worse than a system that you can’t at least zoom into or change viewing window sizes.
- What onboard freebies are there to make your day easier ...reporting, hyperbola fitting live target picking, etc?
- What processing can you do live, if any, and what is the post processing software available for the PC?