Caterpillar Inc. has acquired all assets of Underground Imaging Technologies, Inc. (UIT) through its majority owned affiliate, Underground Imaging Technologies LLC. UIT is an advanced geophysical services company and technology developer based in Latham, N.Y. The acquisition will give Caterpillar the capability to provide geophysical services, specializing in providing three-dimensional representations of underground utilities and other targets.
“UIT’s geophysical expertise and advanced technologies will add dynamic new subsurface infrastructure capabilities to our Connected Worksite offerings,” said Hans Haefeli, vice president with responsibility for the Caterpillar Advanced Systems Division. “But most important, this service provides detailed information that enables design engineers and contractors to proceed on underground projects with a clearer picture of the subsurface environment, contributing to both project cost savings and increased safety on the worksite.”
“The use of advanced near-surface geophysical tools provides highly accurate three-dimensional images and digital maps of subsurface utilities and unknown objects,” said Mark R. Wallbom, CEO of UIT. “Our portfolio of proprietary software and geophysical means and methods has high value for both design and construction projects. Identifying underground impediments—before design and construction begin—speeds the work, saves money and enhances safety. The technology also has potential applications in road building quality control, site evaluation, environmental surveys, and mapping geologic layers for mining applications.”
In business since 2002, UIT has been instrumental in developing many advancements in three-dimensional mapping by integrating geophysical and geospatial hardware and custom software. UIT is the owner of a number of patents and proprietary geophysical technologies. UIT also has demonstrated expertise in using those geophysical tools, such as their multi-channel 14-antenna ground penetrating radar system called TerraVision II and their time domain electromagnetic induction (TDEMI) system called MetaVision II.
The extensive data from multiple geophysical and geospatial inputs are processed using a suite of UIT’s proprietary software that effectively integrates the acquisition, processing and analysis of these dissimilar datasets. The process is best defined as geomatic engineering, a modern engineering discipline that integrates acquisition, modeling, analysis and management of spatially referenced data that when fused into common information systems, provides a well-defined and accurate representation of the subsurface that is geo-referenced and tied to control points.
All of UIT’s subsurface mapping activities are tied to an extremely accurate global positioning system (GPS) or a robotic total station that provides the required spatial information and has the capability to provide the actual elevation—not just the depth of cover—of all targets. Extensive post processing and interpretation of the developed datasets, acquired from favorable soils, result in a foot-by-foot map with accurate three-dimensional target locations formatted for computer aided design (CAD) or other geographical information system (GIS) compatibility.
Currently, is focusing on working with customers in North America, but plans call for offering imaging services in many other parts of the world.