A new WebGIS approach to support ground penetrating radar deployment

Authors: Tabarro, Paulo
Advisor: Pouliot, JacyntheFortier, Richard
Abstract: Due to the complex agglomeration of underground infrastructures in large urban areas and accordingly increased concerns by municipalities or government who deploy land information systems or industries who want to construct or excavate, it is imperative to accurately locate and suitability map existing underground utility networks (UUN) such as pipelines, hydroelectric power cables, communication networks, or drinking water and sewage conduits. One emerging category of instrument in geophysics for collecting and extracting data from the underground is the ground penetrating radar (GPR). Previous experiments and a thorough literature review revealed that GPR software used in and off the field do not take advantage of geospatial features and data integration such as visualization of GPR data in a georeferenced space with orthophotographies, map, point of interest, CAD plans, etc. Also missing is the capability to add annotation or querying geospatial objects that may improve or expedite the investigations. These functions are long-lived in the geospatial domain, such as in geographic information system (GIS). In this research project, a new approach is proposed to deploy GPR based on four core WebGIS-enabled features, used to support field investigations with GPR. This WebGIS is based on an existing platform called GVX, designed and sold by Geovoxel as a risk management tool for civil engineering projects. In this proposed approach, a generic guideline based on GVX-GPR was developed which users can follow when deploying GPR. This approach is based on four core features which are missing on most GPR software, (1) map integration, (2) geo-annotations and points of interest, (3) radargram georeferencing and visualization, and (4) georeferenced slice visualization. In order to test the designed WebGIS-based approach, two different professionals, an expert in geophysics and a person without any background in geophysics, used the proposed approach in their day-to-day professional practice. The first experiment was conducted at Université Laval (Québec – Canada) when the subject undertook an area to a survey in order to identify 3 possible targets premapped. The second, with a Geophysics-specialist, took place in Rio de Janeiro, at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro’s campus. This study covered an area counting on an unknown number of buried objects, aiming at reproducing a realistic survey scenario. Four new feature were added and discussed with GPR practitioners. Both GPR user declared to be very interested by the proposed by the tool GVX-GPR and its features, being willing to apply this software on their daily basis due to the added advantages. Particularly, this approach has aided these professionals to find new buried objects, delimit the survey area, interpret raw GPR data by allowing geospatial data interaction and GPR profiles, and, finally, to produce new maps compliant with standards such as CityGML. Also, once mastered, the technology allowed the optimization of survey time. This project enabled the development of a new approach to leverage GPR surveys and proposed a new tool in order to test the approach’s feasibility. A first step into the validation of this proposal has been taken towards a feasibility and utility evaluation with two tests accomplished. Unmistakably, these are the first steps of a likely larger validation process, opening up new possibilities for the continuity of the project such as the addition of signal processing techniques and 3D data handling. We nevertheless consider these conclusive for this master’s project, above all demonstrating the value add by geospatial data integration and functions to GPR instruments. This work is also intended to the community of newcomers, or interested in GPR, to further explore this technology, since this approach shall facilitate the preparation, execution, and post-processing phases of a GPR survey.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2018
Open Access Date: 8 February 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/33487
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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