Recently we took the opportunity to get hold of some entry level GPR and put them side by side for comparative testing. The GPR we chose were: the TriVue by UTSI Electronics, the UtilityScan DF by GSSI, and the IDS Opera Duo/ Leica DS2000. All three GPR’s were used for at least a full days shift on a real job. We also performed a comparative performance test (in terms of ease of use) on ‘rough’ ground and repeated a small survey grid with all three GPR for a direct data comparison.
A brief overview of each GPR has been published separately, this comparison relates to differences between the three GPR’s and their comparable performances only.
We preferred the UTSI TriVue, it is very practical and offers full spectral coverage from 100-1500MHz through the triple frequency antenna.
The UTSI TriVue was the easiest to push, it goes in straight lines well but was also the most manoeuvrable. On grass, the TriVue was by far the easiest to use. There was virtually no assembly and no cables. However, it does require more care and a bit more user knowledge to operate with respect to the other two which means it might not be suitable for everyone. You are able to view all three channels in a usable way at the same time but the data won’t look as nice as you would see on the GSSI or IDS software.
Our second choice would be the GSSI UtilityScan DF, this is by far the most robust GPR of the three with no moving parts, and for most companies where their GPR might suffer some rough use, the GSSI is the least likely to let you down. You can view both frequencies at the same time in a practical way using either a split or a merged view. We didn’t prefer it because it’s heavier than the TriVue and the software has some bugs, but neither of these points would influence most users.
The IDS Opera Duo/ Leica DS2000, it’s more manoeuvrable than the GSSI UtilityScan DF but was also the most difficult to push and of the three it was the only one which was completely unusable on grass.
The metal handle is impractical and it has multiple moving parts providing many opportunities to break.
It was the easiest of the three to use and had the least assembly, but you can’t view both frequencies at the same time without missing some of the data.
We performed a controlled comparative test where all three GPR’s were used to collect data on the same small grid (which means scans in identical positions which can be compared side by side). All the data was post-processed using GPR Slice which is an open GPR post processing platform which can process data from most commercial GPR’s. We used the standard settings for each GPR and applied minimal processing to all of the data to avoid processing one ‘better’ than the other.
In practice, this means that some of the results could be improved from those we are showing here.
Comparative processing results
Our results are interesting (or not), whilst there were differences in the data from the three GPR we were able to detect all of the same targets with all three of the GPRs tested. No GPR came out significantly better or worse than the others from a performance perspective.
You can ignore the marketing and choose the GPR you prefer. We preferred the TriVue but would recommend the GSSI UtilityScan DF as by far the most robust of the three.