Sonic technology helps MICCS project speed up

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Sonic technology helps MICCS project speed up

Two MICCS Demo tests have been successfully carried out in the Netherlands. The technology and equipment have been tested under field conditions. Stability and efficiency of sensors have been verified, yielding on-site, real-time data, as expected.

Soil and Groundwater Pollution

Decontaminating the soil and groundwater can be a very expensive endeavor. However, before the actual process of cleaning up pollution can even begin, a thorough study of the dimensions and the composition of the contaminants has to be carried out. Determining the exact location and the dynamics of ground pollution is the key to a cost-effective and expedient cleanup effort. Research in this field can potentially save communities time and money whenever a pollution cleanup process is undertaken. Traditional methods of pollution investigation are costly and can be ineffective at mapping the full extent of contamination.

Soil Pollution Investigation Using the MICCS Technology

The key to a successful decontamination action is to have an accurate and complete analysis of the contamination on the location. MICCS speeds up the process and reduces costs of a complete site investigation.
Step 1: Initial Survey of the location Using the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Groundtracer

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Groundtracer technology allows to efficiently and relatively quickly make a preliminary scan of the location. An antenna array is mounted on a wheeled frame. An operator drags the frame and carries a computer, which controls the transmitter and the receiver in the antenna array. The signals emitted by the GRP allow to scan the structure of the soil, determining the potential spots with high concentration of contaminants.

Step 2: Probing and Data Gathering

An integral part of the contamination analysis is taking samples. Normally, this would involve the slow and expensive process of using a drill to make boreholes and collecting soil samples from them. These would then be sent to a specialised facility for a lengthy analysis. Besides the overall slow speed, many boreholes need to be made, as essentially the operator does not have real-time feedback and there is no immediate data, which would allow the operator to concentrate on a specific plot.

MICCS revolutionises this process by integrating two cutting-endge technologies.

One is sonic drilling with our sonic drill rigs. Its pulsating end significantly decreases the time it takes to make boreholes. The other is the sensor - a device that is integrated into the drilling mechanism and makes real-time readings. Using the MICCS contamination detection software in conjunction with the sensor allows to immediately detect the type and concentration of any contaminants in the soil.
After the initial set-up, involving a quick positioning the drilling mechanism using the operators remote control, the sensor is fitted onto the drill. It is also attached to a local workstation, where the operator can monitor the readings. The video shows the whole process at one of the pilot study locations.

Step 3: Data Analysis

The most important stage of contamination characterisation is analysis of data from the boreholes. Image below displays a graphical example of data collected using the sensors. This data is used to determine the type and concentration of contamination at various depths in a particular borehole.