The money wasted on repairing underground infrastructure that has been inadvertently damaged during construction is phenomenal. The casualties and loss of life from these incidents is also significant. Given these problems, I was excited to learn about the subsurface mapping tools developed by Witten Technologies.
Witten Technologies have developed the Computer Assisted Radar Tomography (CART) system, which is an array of sensors that they pass over the ground to reveal underground infrastructure. The CART 3D images show the approximate size, shape and depth of buried pipes and other underground structures. CART images also contain information about the material composition of buried structures (metal vs. plastic) and soil conditions.
The resulting information from the scans are delivered in video feeds as well as CAD data or data that can be imported into GIS.
I’m surprised that I haven’t heard about this technology earlier, although the company has been around since 2001. The technology specifications of the system and the projects that they’ve undertaken are impressive. For instance, the technology was deployed at the World Trade Center site. They’ve also recently completed a large-scale pilot study for the Florida Department of Transportation of more than 1.8 million square feet!