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1. (US20160097879) Method of electronically mapping underground utility infrastructures from the surface
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Claims

1. A method of mapping underground utility infrastructures and other buried objects, comprising:
investigating buried objects point-by-point in an immediate search area of a ground surface radio illuminated by a radio broadcast transmitter in the 500-kHz to 1,000-kHz band transmitting from a location outside the immediate search area;
sensing together short-wavelength reflections of 100-MHz to 2,000-MHz and long-wavelength scattering of the electro-magnetic radio energy of the radio broadcast transmitter from buried objects underneath in layered soils with a surface-based measurement of buried-object signals using at least a phase-coherent elimination of ground surface reflection noise of at least sixty decibels in digital signal processing with a field programmable gate array (FPGA); and
interpreting signals and displaying visual representations and characteristic descriptions of underground utility infrastructures and the buried objects sensed together, located, and clarified, with a mapping apparatus capable of displaying aeronautical charts, satellite images, elevation maps, and geographically referenced overlays that can be displayed and printed over any map background.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
repeatedly roving over a wide search area with a municipal vehicle that carries the equipment that:
collects measurements and images from a series of locations of the ground surface of an area with a vehicle that carries a navigation receiver, a camera, a ground penetrating radar, and an electromagnetic gradiometer;
fixes a location of the vehicle with the navigation receiver and converting it into a location fix data of the vehicle location and storing such in a computer memory storage device;
photographs the ground surface appearance of said location of the vehicle with the camera and converting it into an image data of the ground surface and storing such in said computer memory storage device as a visual registration;
radar images from close above the ground surface of said location of the vehicle with the ground penetrating radar that includes an apparatus with an algorithm for suppressing ground surface reflections, and converting radar data obtained into an image data of shallow objects and storing such in said computer memory storage device with said visual registration;
measures electromagnetic gradients from close above the ground surface of said location of the vehicle with the electromagnetic gradiometer, and converting gradient data obtained into an image data of more deeply objects that are re-radiating electromagnetic radio waves caused in far-zone by local AM-radio broadcasts, and storing such in a computer memory storage device with said visual registration;
combines, blends, and transforms said location fix data, image data of the ground surface, image data of shallow objects, and image data of more deeply objects, into a voxel information data and storing such in said computer memory storage device with said visual registration;
repeats these steps from a plurality of successive new municipal vehicle locations until a survey area can be visually rendered on a display screen or map from a patchwork of the data stored in said computer memory storage device.
3. A method of mapping underground utility infrastructures and buried objects, comprising:
collecting measurements and images from a series of locations of the ground surface of an area with a vehicle that carries a navigation receiver, a camera, a ground penetrating radar, and an electromagnetic gradiometer;
fixing a location of the vehicle with the navigation receiver and converting it into a location fix data of the vehicle location and storing such in a computer memory storage device;
photographing the ground surface appearance of said location of the vehicle with the camera and converting it into an image data of the ground surface and storing such in said computer memory storage device as a visual registration;
radar imaging from close above the ground surface of said location of the vehicle with the ground penetrating radar that includes an apparatus with an algorithm for suppressing ground surface reflections, and converting radar data obtained into an image data of shallow objects and storing such in said computer memory storage device with said visual registration;
measuring electromagnetic gradients from close above the ground surface of said location of the vehicle with the electromagnetic gradiometer, and converting gradient data obtained into an image data of more deeply objects that are re-radiating electromagnetic radio waves caused in far-zone by local AM-radio broadcasts, and storing such in a computer memory storage device with said visual registration;
combining, blending, and transforming said location fix data, image data of the ground surface, image data of shallow objects, and image data of more deeply objects, into a voxel information data and storing such in said computer memory storage device with said visual registration;
repeating the above steps from a plurality of successive new vehicle locations until a survey area can be visually rendered on a display screen or map from a patchwork of the data stored in said computer memory storage device.
4. The method of claim 3, further comprising:
displaying on a display screen or map a representation of all those vehicle locations that have been surveyed and those that are yet-to-be surveyed; and
repeating the preceding steps from a plurality of new vehicle locations indicated as yet-to-be surveyed until said survey area can be visually rendered completely on a display screen or map from a patchwork of the data stored in said computer memory storage device.