World-first radar technology used on Gladstone potholes

VAC Group operations supervisor Lee Henderson and product developer Mike Meide using the companys world-leading ground penetrating radar.
VAC Group operations supervisor Lee Henderson and product developer Mike Meide using the companys world-leading ground penetrating radar. Mike Richards GLA051217RADAR

WHAT lies beneath Tank St's reoccurring potholes will be photographed clearer and better than ever before this week.

VAC Group Gladstone will use its new world-first radar imaging technology to detect underground disturbances on Goondoon St between Tank and Herbert Sts for the Gladstone Regional Council.

Group operations supervisor Lee Henderson said the new machines created accurate 3D images showing the structure beneath roads and paths.

"Apparently there is some pothole formations (on Tank St) which I believe come from some old infrastructure under the road so we'll detect the voids and disturbances in the ground which can tell us if sections have the possibility of collapsing," Mr Henderson said.

The imagery can be used to assist councils, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, airport corporations and other clients with future development and infrastructure or to show roads and footpaths are stable.

"It's the only product in Australian that can integrate surface with substance data and enable 3D visualisation of underground assets," Mr Henderson said.

"The computer aided radar tomography enables us to detect other metal pipes, non-metal pipes and other unknown utility assets that would not be found using other industry standard technologies."

The new radar equipment is the result of more than two years of designing, building and trial and error.

VAC Group chief operations officer Tony Simpson estimates the new machines are worth about $100,000 each.

In comparison, traditional models used in Australia are worth about $30,000.

Mr Simpson said the company had even sparked international interest with their new technology.

"We had a few different prototypes before we got to this point," Mr Simpson said.

"We've sold one to South Korea, and another one to Japan.

"We have a Chinese delegation visiting one of our offices soon too to look at it."

For Gladstone Engineering Alliance chief executive Carli Homann knowing the new technology will be used by the six staff at the Ambrose branch was a proud moment.

"To see the technology is one thing but to know it's been built, designed and fabricated here in Queensland is another," she said.

Topics:  excavation gladstone business gladstone engineering alliance gladstoneindustry gladstone regional council innovation

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