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MapXact and Gasunie reach milestone in ground-radar technology development

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MapXact and Gasunie are working on a radar technology that will be able to produce a clear, comprehensive 3D display of underground installations. By giving a clear picture of cables and pipelines that are lying in the ground, excavation damage could be avoided in the future.

The successful addition of automatic object recognition has taken the development of this technology a big step forward.  The ground scanner automatically recognises underground cables and pipelines and clearly converts the information to a table or on a computer screen.

Milestone
What makes this ground scanner so exceptional is the way underground data are interpreted by a computer and directly translated into a realistic version that anyone can understand. Previously, only experts were able to interpret scan results, and several days were needed before the results became known. Now it takes only a few minutes to see what lies where in the ground and what the diameter is. Says Gerben Roseboom of MapXact: “This shows that our vision is becoming a reality. Because eventually we want to offer excavation contractors a system that will help them avoid damage as well as work more safely.”

Fine-tuning
The ground scanner is expected to be available for professional users at the end of 2019. Until then, work continues on the development of the software, improvement of the ground scanner’s design, and the addition of augmented reality to make the user interface even simpler.

International recognition
At the end of June, MapXact and Gasunie also received the ‘Industry Choice Award’ at the World Gas Conference 2018. They beat 215 innovations from 90 countries to the prize. Earlier, the ground scanner was also announced as winner in the ‘Digital and Smart Solutions’ category. “Damage due to excavations is a worldwide problem. We see this distinction as an incentive to pursue the development of our ground scanner, so that excavations can be performed safely in the future,” Roseboom explains.

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