Aiding Construction at the Orlando International Airport

In the construction industry there are waves of development, especially in Orlando, FL. The Orlando International Airport is currently constructing a new south terminal. This requires a lot of planning with companies, contractors, engineers and so on. One of the head companies that is spearheading this project coordinates all of the contractors to keep things running smooth.

The project manager of this company recognized the needs of several of the contractors for ground penetrating radar or GPR work for some of the projects going on in the new terminal. One contractor needed to have pillars scanned to avoid hitting rebar when setting anchors for support beams. Another contractor needed to core drill holes for plumbing. The last one needed to install a metal structure and needed to drill into the foundation and did not want to hit rebar. The project manager recognized all of the needs for x-ray and called their GPR professionals at Ground Penetrating Radar Systems.

Once on site, the GPRS professional used their 1600MHz antenna, specifically designed to provide high resolution concrete images of the precise location of any rebar, post tension cables and electrical conduits.  Ground penetrating radar is an effective and efficient tool for accomplishing these goals. The use of a palm was also utilized. A palm antenna is an attachment the professionals use to reach overhead, scan walls or reach into tight areas. After the day was spent, the GPRS professional had the areas mapped out on the surface of the concrete. In some areas, permanent markers were used to avoid having the markings wash away in the rain. The other sensitive areas were marked with lumber crayons. Once the marking was complete, the ground penetrating radar specialist took time to explain the results so the contact would know exactly where to drill.  This ensured that the building did not face any structural damage and, more importantly, that the contractor was safe during the cutting process.  All parties were pleased with the results and the holes were drilled without incident.

You will see a picture below depicting Nate Schmoe, of GPRS, Inc. scanning the concrete surface.
If you would like to receive a proposal for similar work, please visit the “Contact-Us” page at

International Drive

Orlando has its fair share of resorts, hotels and theme parks. A new hotel is being constructed on International Drive. After finishing the exterior construction and beginning all of the interior work, the contractors were faced with having to add some additional lines into the facility that were not initially planned for. This involved them core drilling through CMU block walls. The engineers were concerned they would cut through too much structural steel in the process. So in order to avoid hitting anything when drilling, they got in contact with Ground Penetrating Radar Systems.

When scanning overhead or on walls, it can be cumbersome and slow to try and use the standard issue 1600MHz antenna. In order to be able to move more quickly and be able to scan in some tighter areas, the GPRS professional assigned to the job used a “palm” antenna which is specifically designed for this. This antenna can scan closer to walls and is ideal when scanning beams and columns.

After arriving on-site, the GPRS professional was able to scan all necessary areas and mark out the rebar layout on the surface of the walls. This enables the contractor to assess the best locations for their core drills to avoid contact with structural steel and keep the engineers happy. Upon completion of the job, the findings were explained to the site contact, at which point, the contractors requested a report to show the engineers and have proof of the locations for their records. The contractor was able to drill all necessary holes without affecting the structural steel in the walls.

You will see a picture below depicting Nate Schmoe, of GPRS, Inc. scanning the CMU block wall surface.

If you would like to receive a proposal for similar work, please visit the “Contact-Us” page at
International Drive

GPRS Called to an “Explosive” Jobsite in Northern Florida

Jobsite in Northern FloridaWe at GPRS were recently called to a job site north Florida near a state university.  The customer was breaking ground on a city block in order to build a large student housing complex.  While moving dirt to level out the impending foundation, the project manager noticed something sticking out of a pile of recently turned earth.  The cylindrical shape, rounded nose, and four symmetrical tail fins left little doubt that they had unearthed a bomb.  The job site was immediately shut down.  The project manager called the local fire department which in turned notified the bomb squad.  With a little research, he was able to confirm that he had found a WWII era aerial bomb on his hand, and a few questions about his new job site.  That evening the bomb squad strapped some C4 to the bomb and executed a controlled detonation after lowering the bomb into a hole dug out on site for that very purpose.

His next call was to Ground Penetrating Radar Systems.

Arriving the next morning, we were informed that the job site had no military history.  It was a coal depot with a train track running through it in the 40’s and 50’s.  Never-the-less, our job was to locate any additional “ordinances” that might still be buried on the grounds.  Due to the relatively small size of the target anomalies, we would have to run our 400MHz antenna over the entire multi-acre site on a very small grid.  The pattern would only allow for about 12 inches between scans if we were to have a reasonable chance of locating an item the size of that which we were looking for.  After beginning the grid in the area of the site that produced the bomb, several small items in the first 3 to 5 feet of earth were found.  These were carefully dug up by hand to identify.  Pipes, crates, bottles, and other assorted debris were found, but to the relief of our customer, we were unable to locate any additional bombs.  It turned out that the worrisome item they found was buried, decades ago, in what was essentially a pile of junk…not a stash of explosives.

Although the early indications were positive for our customer, we spent the entire day scanning the lot on the afore-mentioned tight grid.  Nothing alarming was found and the job site was back in operation the next day.  In addition to locating utilities, jobs like this one demonstrate the versatility that our technology, and highly trained technicians, are able to employ to further serve our customers.

Please contact Tony Valenti at (407)246-9900 or for any scanning needs that you may have.

GPRS Locates PT Cables at Stadium in Tampa

Recently, Ground Penetrating Radar Systems (GPRS) of Tampa, FL was requested on-site by a general contractor to perform a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. The purpose of our scanning was to locate any rebar and/or post-tension (PT) cables within the concrete securing the stadium’s seating.  We first scanned the top of the concrete slabs and found that the areas we were scanning contained post-tension cables (3” from the surface of the slab) as well as a foam layer in the middle of the concrete.  The contractor working at the stadium has plans to core drill through the concrete in order to run electrical lines from a new kitchen addition to an existing electrical room below the stands.  The contractor was worried about hitting the post-tension cables and other unknown anomalies which may have been in the 10” concrete slab.  All anomalies present were clearly marked on the surface so the contractor knew what reinforcing was in the concrete around their planned drilling locations. After this, we also scanned from below the slab to make sure there were no post-tension cables on the other side of the middle foam layer. We scanned multiple locations while on-site and explained all of our findings and markings.  The general contractor was able to safely drill his 3” holes through the slab following the completion of our scanning. Ground Penetrating Radar Systems is the best way to ensure the locations of rebar, post-tension cables and other anomalies in concrete prior to any type of excavation such as saw cutting, trenching or core drilling.  In total, roughly 15 different 24”x24” areas were scanned during this particular trip to the site.  After all findings were clearly marked on the surface, we then went back through the areas and put a clear-coat spray on our marks to make sure that none of our findings would be worn away or erased from foot traffic and other work going on in the areas. The photo below depicts Justin Rasanow, our Tampa Area Manager, scanning the portion of the stadium where the seating will be present.  He is using our 1600MHz antenna to scan the concrete slab. Along with the 1600MHz antenna we also used our RD-7000 (not pictured), which is a device that detects live power and RF signals below the surface.  This device is used in locating electrical or telephone lines embedded in concrete.  Following our scanning, the contractor was pleased that they were able to core drill all of their locations without hitting any post-tension cables, reinforcing, or conduits.


Please contact Justin Rasanow at (727) 420-3292 or for any scanning needs that you may have.

Correcting the Competition

We received a call today from a new customer who had recently hired one of our competitors to scan for his plumbing penetrations. He was concerned with the output of the first scan and wanted a second opinion, because some of the markings didn’t seem to add up. We told him we would provide a second opinion, and only charge him for the trip if we were able to offer new, relevant information that kept his team safe.


After beginning the scan it became immediately clear that our competitor had made some sloppy mistakes. In the image above, you can see my markings in black marker and our competitor’s earlier markings in red crayon. Our competitor had missed the fact that one of the lines ran at a slight diagonal (about a 15º angle). He marked the line as through it were straight, and as a result, his marking were off by up to 4” at the far end. Consider also the example below. Again, my markings are in black marker, and our competitor’s prior markings are in blue.

Evidently, this particular competitor seems to have rushed the job, seemingly only scanning over each line once, rather than scanning in 3 or more successive locations in order to verify the direction and continuation of each line. It is also confusing that the other scanner included at least 4 or 5 false positives among his markings—lines that weren’t actually there. The customer looked over my shoulder as I scanned, and exclaimed “that area is completely clear! Why did he mark there?” My only guess was that he wanted to indicate the extent of the scan area, but this left the customer with a false picture of his available options.


I can’t speak to the other company’s reasoning, and I’m not sure what caused the persistent error in many of their markings, but I was thankful for the opportunity to provide a more accurate picture to our new customer, who indicated that our price was the same as the one he had previously paid. Needless to say, the customer told me at the conclusion of the job that we would be his new GPR crew, and that is a stewardship that is an honor to receive.