The National Academies

SHRP 2 R01(C) [Completed]

Innovations in Location of Deep Utilities

  Project Data
Funds: $1,515,341
Research Agency: Gas Technology Institute
Principal Investigator: Christopher Ziolkowski
Effective Date: 10/1/2009
Completion Date: 10/31/2013

Project snapshot. More details below.

(Project Number)
Impact on Practice
Product Status

Two technologies to expand the zone in which underground utilities can be located and identified were developed. Prototype long-range radio frequency ID and low-frequency acoustic location technologies were developed and tested.
Delays and costs of excavation and risks of utility conflicts can be avoided if utilities can be reliably located, even when deep underground, with nondestructive techniques. The technologies in development go beyond the shallow underground utility location technologies and expand the locatable zoom capability needed to find deep utilities.
The project is complete. Both prototypes require further development to reach commercial readiness. Project reports, including a user’s guide, are forthcoming. 

Staff Responsbility: James Bryant
The shallow underground horizon is fast filling up with a multitude of ever-expanding utility facilities. The need to find room in this underground landscape leads utility companies to even deeper locations. In the transportation environment, utility companies are constantly challenged to find the locations of deep utility facilities.  For new placements, it can be difficult to provide traceable signals to identify and tag the locations for future purposes.
The primary objective of this project was to improve the detection and accurate determination of the positions of buried utilities within an expanded locatable zone up to Quality Level B as defined by CI/ASCE 38-02, the Standard Guidelines for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data, using any appropriate methods without duplicating the scope of project R01-B.  This project also developed guidance that transportation agencies may use to include the developed innovative methods into their “Utility Accommodation Manual” and also can assist utility owners by expanding the locatable zone and improving detectability of future utility installations.
The R01C project has developed two prototype tools that with further development effort may combine to provide some solutions in certain situations.  The project has also developed valuable information for future researchers on three technologies that did not reach the prototype stage.
Status: The project is complete.
Product Availability:  Project reports, including a user’s guide, are forthcoming.  A fact sheet and project brief are available.
This page was last modified on January 7, 2014.

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