News & Insights

Multi-Channel Ground Penetrating Radar – Advanced Utility Designating

Multi-Channel Ground Penetrating Radar (MCGPR) is a relatively new technology that Cardno is using to safely show designers, engineers, and general contractors more of what lies below the surface. MCGPR technology is a multi-sensor GPR array that allows for the real-time collection of a large quantity of GPR data in 3-Dimensions. The high speed of data collection minimizes the need for traffic control and improves overall safety.

Interpretation of the MCGPR data is critical. Highly skilled technicians often may not be able to image the utility itself but can identify the sides of a trench. If there is a reliable MCGPR image of a utility, there is also a fairly reliable calculation of the utility depth, something that has always been challenging for other types of geophysics. This makes it very valuable for 3-D modeling.

There is no question that for a majority of projects, using MCGPR will lead to a better utility investigation. Results from the US DOT Federal Highway Administration SHRP2 research and a large number of projects show that MCGPR almost always identifies more utilities than a combination of records, magnetometers, and pipe and cable locators will identify. The benefits of MCGPR are not limited to utility data. Finding unknown utilities, determining underground non-utility anomalies (like construction rubble, voids in the soil, presence of rebar, and so on) that affect the constructability and costs of a project are also positive outcomes of MCGPR.

Cardno leads the industry in developing engineering-based Subsurface Utility Engineering practices and utilizing cutting edge technology to continue improving the value and quality of information obtained from SUE investigations. As one of the first and only companies in North America to invest in MCGPR arrays, Cardno is helping clients recognize significant project efficiencies while expanding the capabilities of advanced underground Utility Engineering. To learn more, visit