Imaging the Future: leading the way with new technology

Utility Route Proving Assessments

Imaging the Future: leading the way with new technology

09 September 2015 by: Macleod Simmonds

With unrivalled experience and knowledge in Stream EM GPR Array system deployment, Macleod Simmonds continue to work on some of the highest profile utility mapping and new technology projects in the UK.

Investing in new systems and capabilities, the Macleod Simmonds team has expanded to include two dedicated Stream teams and a footpath array scanner team, all supported by highly qualified data analysts using in-house proprietary software, GPRCAD™. This software is designed by surveyors, for surveyors and provides a fast and efficient method of accurately transferring complicated GPR data into easily recognisable virtual models of subsurface environments.

“Adopting the latest technology is one thing, but using it efficiently and effectively is another matter altogether”, says Craig Simmonds, Managing Director of Macleod Simmonds.

With the introduction of new technologies in the utilities data mapping field, many contractors are quick to invest in products but often lack the experience and understanding to be able to unlock the full potential of the technology and systems used. Although previously under a different name, the Macleod Simmonds team have been testing ground probing array technology since 2004 and have been using it commercially since the first ever Stream EM was delivered in 2008.

In 2011, Macleod Simmonds Limited was born. Combining experience and expertise as a reputable team of professionals, they channelled their efforts into imaging the hidden environment rather than “Sampling” it. Coining the phrase “Imaging the future”, the team’s unique subsurface imaging capability has now become a widely accepted innovation across the industry. Their forward thinking approach and abilities have dramatically enhanced survey results conforming to the new UK specification in utility mapping, PAS128:2014.

The Stream EM

The Stream EM is an innovative multi-channel radar system which uses ground penetrating radar technology to map buried utilities and features in 3D with minimal disruption. Such advanced technology comes with significant benefits and, when use correctly, can yield far more information relating to the hidden environment than previously possible, in a fraction of the time.

The original Stream EM delivered in 2008 and still working in the field:

The Unique Stream Derived Footpath Array Scanner:

Key Benefits of Stream EM

  • Vehicle towed
  • 40 Channel (EM) 24 Channel (Footpath)
  • High volume of accurate 3D data
  • Dramatic reduction in survey time
  • High detection rate due to the dense sampling of the subsurface, often easily finding targets that would be extremely difficult to resolve with a conventional GPR deployment.
  • On highways of 40mph and below traffic management is simply not required presenting a very safe alternative to the conventional approach


Developing Technologies for Advanced Results

Managing Director, Craig Simmonds, has been using and commercially operating radar technology since 1993 and has over 20 years of experience in the field including more than 10 years’ experience in High Density Array Ground Probing Radar (HDAGPR) systems. Craig set up Macleod Simmonds in 2011 to enable him to continue to develop the GPR array based technology as he could clearly see that it had a place in the future of the utility mapping arena.

Given his established position in the market place, Macleod Simmonds continues to be one of the select users of this technology by offering safety compliant, accurate data that is used for some of the largest utility mapping projects in the UK.

The Macleod Simmonds team invests continuously in development, with field operations and in-house software repeatedly trialled and tested by PhD qualified professionals to ensure that their utility mapping process is the best it can be. 2012 saw the launch of the Macleod Simmonds Footpath Scanner, perfectly designed for narrow pathways and access routes. This streamlined version of their standard Stream EM system includes 24 600Mhz channels and is ideally suited to scanning the areas inaccessible to the Stream EM.

Quality Data for Improved Efficiency

Macleod Simmonds provide services for some of the biggest contracts in the UK with a nationwide client base including other utility mapping contractors, local authorities and leading civil engineering contractors.

GPR Data captured complies with and exceeds the PAS 128 specification, providing confidence for clients from tender stage to completion. Using the Stream EM system, Electro-magnetic locators (EML) and Macleod Simmonds bespoke in-house software; data capture achieves the highest PAS128:2014 described methodology M4P, producing the best chance for achieving the highest quality level for detection surveys QL – B1P.

To explore the many benefits of implementing Stream EM into your next project, contact Macleod Simmonds on 0330 6781115 or visit for more information.