Project Name

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Trenchless Technology Settlement Investigation

Research Team

Lindsay Ivey-Burden

Frank Morris


Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research

Other Sponsors


Project Dates

May 2013 - May 2014

Project Description

This project compared two different possible methods that could be used to
detect voids in the installation of pipes through trenchless technology. The first technology examined was FutureScan, a robot outfitted with a radar system that can scan voids by being placed directly into the pipe. The FutureScan method is a new method developed by CUES Incorporated in collaboration with the Trenchless Technology Center at Louisana Tech. The second method used was Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).  Known planted voids were scanned using both technologies and the results were compared.

Photos and Media

IveyBurden_FutureScan2  (Powerpoint Presentation)

DSC_0650 DSC_0651 DSC_0663

DSC_0667 DSC_0670


1.) Work with local contractors and UVA facilities to identify the installation of a suitable horizontal directional drilled pipe for scanning.

2.) Investigate varying non-destructive techniques that could possibly be used to detect voids above and around a pipe from the ground surface. One possible such technology could be GPR.

3.) Set up a demonstration with CUES Incorporated to use the FutureScan technology to scan the aforementioned pipe for voids.

4.) In addition, use the non-destructive technique chosen in task 2 to scan the same pipe for voids.

5.) Compare the results of Task 3 and Task 4.

6.) Do two more sets of tests with each separate technology. However, for this round of testing, an artificial void would be placed in a known location above the pipe and the results of each test will again be compared.

7.) Make recommendations on the feasibility of using FutureScan or the alternate non-destructive method for detected voids above pipes placed by trenchless technologies.

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