Nottingham University has developed a system for seeing what lies underground using the latest advances in global positioning satellites and virtual reality techniques. An area of ground is scanned by radar and other methods and the results are fed into a computer. The resulting images are then displayed on the specially developed binoculars and are located with an accuracy of up to one centimetre through global positioning satellite technology. Workers can use the binoculars to avoid underground pipes and electric cables.
The technology is the result of a £650,000 research project. Since the first unveiling in 2002, a number of prototypes have been developed, including a product which can be mounted in an excavator. Yorkshire Water has already trialled the system and Bryan Denby of the university’s School of Chemical, Environmental and Mining Engineers (SChEME) is looking for more partners to carry out trials.
The product is targeted at the Utilities sector, but could be used in other ways, too. Architects could use it to visualise their buildings better within the site environment. A commercially viable product is expected during 2003.
Companies interested in this project can contact Bryan Denby on 0115 9514097.