Throughout the years, underground utilities have proliferated within highway rights-of-way. The location and nature of many utility lines have not always been properly documented. Moreover, the presence of underground utilities within the highway right-of-way and the lack of pedigree information about some utility lines present unique challenges for highway renewal activities, which often require relocation of underground utilities to ensure public safety. The untimely discovery of an unknown underground utility needing relocation is one of the major causes of delay during highway renewal projects and, as such, one of the major contributors to traffic disruptions and budget overruns. Decision makers in both transportation agencies and utility companies need timely access to accurate utility location, information in order to minimize the risk of disruption during highway renewal activities.
Because utilities have differing materials, sizes, depths, conductivity, ground conditions, surface obstacles, and other characteristics, it is often necessary to use multiple sensing techniques to acquire an image of them. However, making multiple passes with different instruments is not as efficient as making one pass with a device that has multiple sensors. Combined with improved coupling techniques, a multi-sensor platform may lead to enhanced, perhaps automated, interpretation (better quality, lower risk) and better efficiency (less disruption and cost).
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