First Nulca-Accredited GPR Training Course for Utility Locators

On March 6, 2018 at the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, Sensors & Software delivered the first ever Nulca- accredited GPR for the Locating Technician Training Course.

Nulca represents Utility Locating Professionals and works with numerous industry associations to prevent utility damage and promote safety. To that end, Nulca has now extended its competency standard for training utility locators to include Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).

This is the first GPR course to be accredited by NSF-ISR (National Science Foundation – International Strategic Registrations) to meet the Nulca training standards and ensure that the locator demonstrates knowledge, skill and understanding in applying GPR effectively and professionally to locate utilities.

The full-day course was attended not just by technicians, but also people looking to learn more about the capabilities of GPR as it applies to locating buried utilities. The course covered topics including:

• GPR theory

• Factors affecting target detection

• How GPR complements traditional EM locating

• Application of Line Scan and Grid Scans

• Hands-on equipment setup and data collection

• Data interpretation

• Case studies

A considerable amount of time was spent collecting data outside the Phoenix Convention Center. The first step involved collecting data in Line Scan mode to locate utilities and distinguish them from other features in the data. In addition, visual field information was used to corroborate findings (hydrants, valves, manholes). Once the group had determined the orientation of the utilities, a 20’ x 20’ grid was set up to illustrate the process of grid collection and, ultimately, generate plan maps on site. Some people attending the course had used GPR before, while others had only observed its use by sub-contractors. “I’ve never worked with GPR previously,” said Jeffrey Olson, Safety Coordinator at Michels Corporation. “It was very informational and enlightening. I was impressed with the instruction. It’s a tool to add to the toolbox, to protect our infrastructure.”

Companies who enroll their locators in this course can differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide an industry-leading level of service knowing their operators were trained to a recognized standard.

Contact Sensors & Software or visit to learn more about upcoming course dates and locations.

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