Geomorph Instruments is very happy to announce a new, strategic partnership with RTUTec and the appointment of the latter as our representative in Israel.
RTUTec was founded for the purpose of identifying innovative technologies. Ron Pincu and Dr. Amos Frishling founded RTUTec in 2014.
Ron was a member of the founding team of the NDT lab in the Israeli air-force. He holds NDT Level II certifications, has a first degree in Engineering and an MBA from Hartford University in England. Over the years, Ron has specialized in finding original solutions for testing requirements. If in Aerospace industry, Oil & Gas, research and more. Ron has been instrumental in developing cutting edge portable X-ray systems for field NDT requirements.
RTUTec is currently offering a variety of products in different technologies among which are portable digital radiography systems, mobile cabinet X-ray and tomosynthesis equipment, Dosimeters & Survey meters, portable X-ray sources, thermographic devices and Ultrasonic & Radio-frequency based solutions.
We are very happy to announce that we are DUNS registered.
The Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. This number, identifies a company as being unique from any other in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud. The D‑U‑N‑S Number is used as the starting point for any company's Live Business Identity, the most comprehensive and continually updated view of any company in the Data Cloud.
D‑U‑N‑S Numbers are often referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and/or financial stability of the company in question. D‑U‑N‑S, which stands for data universal numbering system, is used to maintain up-to-date and timely information on more than 300 million global businesses. The D‑U‑N‑S Number also enables identification of relationships between corporate entities (hierarchies and linkages), another key element of Live Business Identity and commercial risk assessment practices.
The need to detect and assess jellyfish is driven by a variety of interests and concerns. Certainly most of us are aware that the sting from some species of jellyfish may cause painful wounds or even death, prompting the use of warning flag systems, barrier nets, and advanced sonar systems to protect swimmers at public beaches. Compounding this threat of physical harm, jellyfish populations in many of the world's oceans are know to dramatically and suddenly fluctuate, and often without cause or explanation. Despite the significant hazards posed by contact with jellyfish, the mechanisms controlling their movements and population dynamics are not well understood. Scientific echosounders are a proven, reliable instrument for the detection and measurement of jellyfish, and these specialized sonar systems are used by researchers worldwide for a wide range of studies. Their body structure of a jellyfish is dense enough to reflect pulses of sound (pings) emitted by sonar, and thus jellyfish are quite well-suited for the use of hydroacoustics. Over recent years, researchers around the globe have developed a wide range of interesting sonar methods and equipment for their study and this article documents just a few of these projects and case studies.
Due to shifts in ocean temperatures and currents, populations of so called “giant jellyfish” can rapidly increase or “bloom” and spread to new areas. Blooms of these massive creatures wreak havoc on commercial fishing operations by fouling nets and reducing fish catches. Predicting the movements and locations of giant jellyfish can help fishermen avoid the animals, and thereby increase fishing catch rates and efficiencies.
Dr. Kyounghoon Lee, of Chonnam National University in South Korea, has extensively studied the giant jellyfish, Nemopilema nomurai, using a split beam echosounder integrated with an acoustic camera and CTD sensor deployed from research vessels while conducting mobile surveys. Results from Dr. Lee’s work provide information about the sizing distribution and migration patterns of the animals in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea. Below you can see images of the giant jellyfish
Another Korean researcher, Dr. Kang Do-Hyung with the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) has done extensive work using a multi-frequency BioSonics split beam echosounder studying the acoustic target strength (TS) of several jellyfish species, including the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai Kishinouye. Some of Dr. Kang’s work involved using tethered jellyfish in net cages with the echosounder transducer affixed to the top of the cage. TS data derived from this research can be used for developing acoustic scattering models, and surveying giant jellyfish distributions and biomasses. Below, you can see a diagram of Dr. Kang's experiment with tethered jellyfish and a sonar echogram showing the jellyfish
Jellyfish increasingly cause significant problems for power plants, and other industrial facilities that intake large amounts of cooling water, when swarms of the organisms enter the water intakes and clog intake screens. Clogging events due to jellyfish blooms require laborious clean-up efforts and have caused total shutdowns of nuclear power plants in the United States, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and Israel. Financial losses from such unplanned, sudden shutdowns can exceed 1 million USD per day. Below you can see power plant employees working to remove tons of jellyfish from water intake structures.
As a solution for power plant operators, BioSonics Automated Monitoring System (AMS) can be specifically configured for the detection of jellyfish, either for single, larger animals or dense aggregations of smaller individuals. Similar BioSonics systems are already in use at nuclear power plants in the US and Europe. The BioSonics AMS consists of a DT-X split beam echosounder coupled with a heavy duty PC running specialized software that processes hydroacoustic data in real time. Split beam transducers are fix-mounted in a horizontal or up-looking orientation and provide an acoustic curtain or “trip wire” to detect and classify objects in the water column at ranges exceeding 500m.
We are glad to present our customer’s find of a numismatic treasure – a witness to early currency reforms and noticeable effects on present world currencies: Several silver coins identified as Spanish Dollars were detected with the ground scanner Rover C II in northern Peru and can be dated back to the late 16th century.
Reverse of the silver coin: The coat of arms of Castile shows two lions and two castles, divided by a cross and surrounded by the letters ‘ET INDIARVM REX’. The coin can be dated back to the late 16th century – approx. 1580. The Spanish Dollar was very common and widespread, occurrences with perfectly intact motifs are rather seldom.
Pieces of Eight: The Basic Concept of World Currencies
The numismatic value of this find is fascinating in many respects: The coins became a popular trade currency of the Spanish Empire and still have impact on the designation of the present dollar. The discovery and conquest of mineral wealth in Peru and Mexico in the 15th and 16th century empowered the Spanish Empire and initiated early monetary reforms. One of the most famous silver coins of that time is the ‘Piece of Eight’, named after its divisibility into several bits. This concept is still common for breaking down currency values such as the US-Dollar into Half Dollar and Quarter Dollar.
Treasure Hunters’ Serendipity and our Technical Expertise
Thanks to its powerful performance and various special features, the multi-purpose metal detector Rover C II identifies hidden cavities and precious metal objects in different types of terrain: such as the silver coins which were found in the Sechura Desert approx. 60 cm (1.97 ft) deep – deeper than conventional detectors are able to explore.
The 3D ground scanner Rover C II combines metal detection with geoelectrical measurement in order to:
Source: Palawan News (www.palawan-news.com)
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to charge the management of a beach hostel in El Nido after the discovery of its “illegally installed” polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC) pipeline within the easement zone over the weekend.
A statement sent to Palawan News Tuesday by the DENR MIMAROPA Region said the PVC pipeline was excavated from the beachfront of Outpost Beach Hostel in Barangay Corong-Corong through the use of the ground penetrating radar (GPR) by a survey team of the regional and central offices of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
“The pipeline measuring six inches in diameter and six meters in length was uncovered in front of Outpost Beach Hostel in Corong-Corong. It was also found discharging black and foul-smelling liquid directly into Bacuit Bay, one of the province’s ecotourism sites undergoing massive rehabilitation,” the statement said.
The DENR MIMAROPA said to confirm the source of the wastewater, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) used a green tracer solution into Outpost Beach Hostel’s last chamber to which the excavated pipe was connected.
The DENR regional and central offices survey team is seen in this photo using the ground penetrating radar (GPR) to detect the presence of the illegally installed sewerage pipe in front of the Outpost Beach Hostel in Corong-Corong, El Nido. (Photo courtesy of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau)
“After almost 20 minutes, the green solution drained into the said pipe, indicating that the said establishment was the one discharging wastewater from the tank. The EMB shall be conducting further investigation to determine if there are other sources of wastewater discharge aside from the hostel,” it pointed out.
Paul Sepulveda, one of the co-owners of Outpost Beach Hostel, reportedly admitted that they owned the pipe.
Nevertheless, the statement said DENR MIMAROPA regional executive director Henry Adornado ordered the immediate removal of the sewage line as it violates the provisions of Presidential Decree 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines, which prohibits structures within the easement zones without permission from the government.
Meanwhile, the excavation site was filled with sand using the backhoe sent by the local government of El Nido. The end of the cut pipe was left open for sampling and analysis by the EMB.
“We have to remind everyone that we are preparing Bacuit Bay as Water Quality Management Area so we shall be conducting regular water sampling and analysis not only to Outpost Beach Hostel but also to other establishments to ensure they do not discharge untreated wastewater into Bacuit Bay,” EMB Regional Director Michael Drake Matias said.
Besides regular effluent sampling, the DENR and the MGB have been conducting a GPR survey of the coastal areas of El Nido since March 18 to detect buried waste pipelines. They are calling business establishments to take Outpost Beach Hostel as an example to avoid interruption in their business operations.
“You cannot hide them (pipes) forever. We will eventually uncover them so we advise you to remove your illegal sewage lines and comply with the laws for your own good,” MGB MIMAROPA regional director Roland De Jesus was also quoted in the statement.
The DENR, EMB, and MGB in MIMAROPA vowed to impose the maximum penalty to any establishments found continuously breaking environmental rules and regulations; and employ unified action to ensure environmental protection remains as a top priority.
Golden Engineering X-ray generators are based on Pulsed X-ray technology. Pulsed X-rays generate a high intensity X-ray burst (pulse) in a very short period of time (10 to 50 nanoseconds depending on the model). The output dose of each pulse is 3-6 mR measured 12 inches from the front of the X-ray generator. The operator varies the overall dose of each exposure by changing the pulse setting. The pulse rate varies from 10 pulses per second to 25 pulses per second depending on the model. The generators can fire up to 200 pulses before a four-minute rest period.
Pulsed X-ray technology has inherent advantages for field operation compared to conventional constant potential X-ray machines or radioactive sources.
Performance and Packaging: Pulsed technology generates high output voltage using minimal input voltage. The result is extremely small single package generators with significant penetrating capability.
Safety and Simplicity: Minimal side and rear X-ray leakage means the operator safety stand-off distance is 20 feet (6 m) behind the unit. The generators contain no radioactive material. Radiation is only emitted from the generator while it is pulsing. The single package design eliminates the need for connecting cables between tube head, control module, and power supply. The Golden Engineering cold cathode tube requires no warm up and one input variable (pulse setting) simplifies the operating process.
Compatibility: Golden Engineering pulsed generators are compatible with most digital imaging systems. Conventional radiographic film requires more X-ray dose than digital imaging systems and may not be a viable option for light duty, pulsed X-ray generators. Contact us for more information.
The moisture and humidity testing system for floor covering related industries has been developed to help users avoid moisture related problems in flooring and to identify the cause of problems if they do occur.
The system involves testing the subfloor using both the Tramex CME non-destructive test and in situ Relative Humidity Hygro-i probes. The ambient conditions of the building are also measured and the moisture condition of many floor coverings can be checked.
ASTM F2659: Non-destructive testing
The CME instant test for concrete is completely non-destructive and specified by many floor-covering manufacturers around the world, in part because of its simplicity and the repeatability of the results.
The ease and speed of the CMEX allows for many tests, conforming to ASTM F2659, to be carried out over a large area in a short amount of time. Simply turn on the meter and push it onto the surface being tested and read the results on the clear display. The results are calibrated to show percentage moisture content by weight.
ASTM F2659 calls for 3 to 5 readings in the same location. If there are any variations in those readings, record the highest result.
This is repeated in at least 8 locations for the first 1000sq.ft. and 5 for every 1000sq.ft. thereafter, allowing the user to build up a moisture map of the entire slab and identify when and where to test further if testing, for example, to ASTM F2170.
ASTM F2170: Hygro-i in situ testing
The reusable Hygro-i relative humidity probe has been designed specifically for measuring the potential moisture condition of a slab or screed as per ASTM F2170.
To perform this in-situ type relative humidity test, simply drill a hole in the concrete 40% of the thickness of the slab.
Push the sleeve into the hole, insert the Hygro-i probe into the sleeve and cover with the cap. Leave for the standard test period. When taking readings, plug the interface into the Hygro-i probe and instantly read the relative humidity, temperature and dew point simultaneously on the clear display. When testing is complete the Hygro-i probes can be removed with the extraction tool and used repeatedly. The user must be mindful of all the proper safety precautions as mentioned in the ASTM standard.
Ambient Conditions: Hygro-i testing
In conjunction with the Hygro-i relative humidity probe, the CMEX also functions as a digital hygrometer. The meter displays the relative humidity, temperature, dew point and mixing ratio, allowing the user to assess the environmental ambient conditions within the building, making sure they are suitable for installing a floor covering. Using an Infrared Surface Thermometer in combination with the relative humidity results it becomes easy to identify condensation problems.
Moisture Content of Wood: Pin-type wood probe
The CMEX can also be used with the hand held pin probe, for measuring moisture in wood. This is especially useful when installing wood floor coverings.
By comparing the moisture content of wood with the ambient relative humidity conditions we can determine when the wood is in balance with the ambient conditions within the building.
Another way of identifying when wood is in balance with the building, is to discreetly take moisture content readings from wood somewhere already in service within the building. By taking this in-service moisture content reading it becomes more predictable if the wood floor covering is likely to move, to shrink or expand, or if it is in balance.
Excessive moisture in concrete floor slabs and screeds or a disequilibrium between moisture content in the building and the flooring materials can lead to major problems in many types of floor coverings.
From bomb detection through Special Forces to counter surveillance and customs, the security sector is facing ever growing challenges. Throughout the years, radiography has been a common imaging method for inspecting suspicious articles and explosive devices. For a long while, X-ray film was the most common (and practically the only) recording medium. The Digital Age brought about radical changes, and use of Digital Radiography (DR) expanded, while rapidly replacing conventional radiography methods.
Digital Radiography uses X-ray digital detectors instead of traditional film or Phosphor Plates (also known as Computed Radiography or CR). DR yields immediate and superior quality X-ray images at minimum time on target, with minimal radiation levels.
Digital Radiography vs. Film
Much like in a camera, using traditional film in radiography is time consuming and environmentally harmful. Film needs to be chemically developed, and is very limited in terms of image analysis and sharing with others.
Instead of film, DR uses a digital image capture device. Utilizing a wide dynamic range and high resolution, an immediate high quality image is generated. The retrieved image is displayed on a tablet and can be processed, enhanced, shared and digitally stored and accessed, all within a matter of seconds.
These attributes are particularly beneficial for the security industry as they:
Digital Radiography vs. Computed Radiography (CR)
CR makes use of phosphor crystals plates as a recording medium. The X-ray is absorbed and the exposed plate is then scanned with laser. The emitted light captured is converted into a digitized digital image.
Image readout must commence promptly as the amount of energy stored rapidly declines - the recorded image can substantially degrade during processing. Readout process for a single image takes about a minute and requires a dedicated bulky scanner.
With its unique penetration and detection capabilities, DR maximizes speed, safety, quality and overall performance, while making CR pale in comparison:
Emlid RTK GNSS receivers were recently used to carry out training and conduct UAV-based research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Drone mapping is no novelty for the DRC, but up to now most of the drone flying jobs are done by foreign contractors. Therefore the research groups from the Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB), Volcanic observatory of Goma (OVG) and the University of Lubumbashi (UNILU) saw the essential need for the region to have skillful people able to use drones for topographic mapping and land surveying.
With the assistance of the geography department of the UCLouvain (Belgium), the team went for support to ARES. Together, they launched a project aiming at creating a local center of excellence in UAV-based research in the DRC. The goals were to provide advanced training and to locally install a well-equipped UAV-laboratory.
The Congolese researchers used Emlid products to collect centimeter-accurate 3D positional data to study soil erosion processes in Bukavu and to quantify termite mound volumes in Lubumbashi.
Using a Reach M+ RTK module and a Reach RS+ allowed to carry out efficient training and collect precise and reliable data for the research. A pair of Reach RS+ was deployed to survey ground control points, and a Reach M+ was integrated on a drone for PPK mapping.
Interested? Contact us to give you more information about the GPS solutions we are offering.
The new FeedBack DataLogger from Tramex can help identify humidity issues, saving you from possible floor failures with anhydrite screeds. When it comes to talking about drying screeds and concrete floors in general, there seems to be an elephant in every room: ambient humidity.
Although it’s mentioned in every datasheet, handbook and national standard, ambient humidity seems to be overlooked or misunderstood by many architects, builders and flooring installers. As a rule-of-thumb, concrete slabs are expected to dry at a rate of 1mm per day (or an inch per month) and anhydrite screeds the same up to 40mm, or two days per mm when poured deeper (ie a 60mm screed will take: 40mm @ 1 day = 40 days + 20mm @ 2 days = 40 days which = 80 days in total).
‘Ideal conditions’, as stated by screed manufacturers in their guidance literature, are usually agreed on as being in the region of 20deg C and 40-60% RH. These are the optimum conditions to allow the moisture within the slab or screed to evaporate from the surface. The rate of evaporation will depend on ambient conditions. Warm, dry, flowing air will allow for faster evaporation. These conditions, while ideal, are obviously not the normal state of a building site in the UK for most of the year, except the three short months of summer, at which time doors and windows should be thrown wide open to create a good flow of dry air, lifting moisture from the material and carrying it away.
However, for the rest of the year, when temperatures are closer to 5deg C and humidity upwards of 70-80% RH, leaving doors and windows open will have the opposite effect, instead introducing more humidity into the environment and slowing the drying further. Then, with the addition of wet trades applying plaster to the walls, humidity in the air is raised even higher. At most times of the year, heaters and dehumidifiers are needed to artificially create those ‘ideal conditions’.
Building sites which aren’t artificially conditioned will maintain a high humidity level and, when temperatures drop (overnight for example), can easily reach dew point, resulting in condensation settling on the surface of the floor, thus wetting and re-wetting the screed. An obvious solution in this instance, and one which seems to be the go-to quick fix in the UK today, is the use of a damp-proof membrane (DPM). This will slow the rate of drying of the floor to a level which isn’t harmful to the floorcovering.
DPMs can be ideal for this scenario (a sort of get out of jail card) and also in the situation where an older floor which was installed many years before, is still showing high levels of moisture. Moisture in a slab or screed should continue to dry slowly over many years even with floorcoverings installed and so an older floor shouldn’t be expected to read as high as a new floor which is emitting its construction moisture.
If a reading which would be regarded as normal for a new floor, is found in an older floor, it could be an indication that there’s a breach in the damp-proof course (DPC) or even that one was never installed. Again, this can be an ideal situation for a DPM which will ensure moisture, intruding from below the slab, isn’t going to cause a failure. (Be sure, in this case, to select a DPM which is suitable for residual construction moisture as well as groundwater vapor).
Once a DPM is installed, however, it becomes even more important to monitor the ambient conditions on site leading up to the floor cover installation. This is because when the condensation point is reached, in normal circumstances as described above, most of the condensation is absorbed into the surface of the screed, whereas with a DPM in place, this condensation will sit on the surface with nowhere to go. This means even a small trace of moisture can cause problems for the adhesive. This consequence of the use of a DPM is often overlooked.
The Tramex Feedback datalogger, for example, is a suitable tool for monitoring these ambient conditions over the course of the drying stage of the floor and right up to and during the installation. Readings of ambient temperature, humidity and dew-point are recorded by the device and read from a smartphone or tablet using the Tramex Feedback app. Anhydrite screeds are sensitive to high ambient humidity conditions and readily absorb moisture from the air, slowing or blocking the drying completely. Removal of the laitance from the surface of the screed after the initial curing will allow the surface to release its moisture, whereas not sanding/abrading the surface will normally result in the laitance hardening and making it significantly more difficult to remove at a later stage.
While some anhydrite screed installers will return to site after the initial curing period and remove the laitance as part of their service and will hand a copy of the instructions over to the contractor, ensuring everyone is aware what type of screed it is and how to treat it, these highly professional screeders are the exception and unfortunately not the rule. The more common scenario sees the contractor arriving to site with no idea that this is an anhydrite screed and therefore how to treat it.
Knowing the screed is anhydrite will have important ramifications on several aspects, including choosing which type of DPM to use. DPMs designed for concrete and sand/cement screeds are usually not suitable for use with anhydrite screeds. Manufacturers are now producing DPM products for use specifically with anhydrite; however, most cannot be used when underfloor heating (UFH) systems are installed. Moisture testing of anhydrite screeds is another issue which causes confusion for contractors as these screeds do behave differently to concrete and sand/cement screeds.
The three main tests in use in the UK are the British Standard humidity box, non-destructive electronic moisture meters and the German (DIN) standard carbide method (bomb test or speedy test). The British Standard humidity box measures the ERH or equilibrium relative humidity of the screed. This is performed by affixing a specially designed sealed box to the surface of the screed with butyl tape (which, unlike silicone, doesn’t affect the RH readings) in a location of the floor which reads highest with a preliminary electronic concrete moisture meter test.
Ensure the box is out of the way of direct sunlight or drafts from open doorways. Equilibrium is achieved when the trapped air inside the box is no longer receiving humidity from or giving it to the screed. At this point a measurement should be taken. 75% RH or below is a commonly acceptable result. The length of time required for the airspace inside the box to achieve equilibrium with the slab or screed depends on its thickness and whether a screed is bonded to the sub-floor or not. In the case of anhydrite screeds, which are usually poured to a depth of between 40-60mm and are normally placed over insulation, British Standards recommend a first reading is taken after four hours, and equilibrium may be assumed when two consecutive readings taken at four-hour intervals show no change.
In practice this test method is often reported to be performed unsatisfactorily. For example, many testers will leave the box in place for too short a time and it’s rare to hear of anyone checking readings twice at four-hour intervals. The reason for taking subsequent readings four hours apart is to ensure the recorded reading is taken during a period of equilibrium. A small change in ambient temperature will have a dramatic effect on the readings, destabilizing the fine balance of equilibrium inside the box and sending the RH reading up or down depending on the temperature change.
This fluctuation in temperature can result in an unpredictable spike in RH (eg from between 72-82% as in figure 1) as the equilibrium is upset. Stability will only resume about three to four hours later. For this reason, users of this test will often take a reading in the morning which reads high and possibly another in the afternoon which reads low and wonder which is correct, causing further uncertainty. But this uncertainty can be overcome.
Verification of the humidity box test results is easier when used together with a datalogger such as the Tramex Feedback. The external probe is placed into the box and monitors the temperature and humidity readings for the entire duration of the test, thus showing clearly when equilibrium was achieved and what the correct reading was at the appropriate time.
Electronic moisture meter testing is non-destructive and provides instant readings. A purpose-built concrete moisture meter such as the Tramex CME4 and CMEX2 provides more helpful readings (of moisture by mass in concrete and cementitious screeds) than a general purpose, comparative moisture meter.
This method of testing allows the user to map a whole area, very quickly assessing the moisture condition and locating the highest reading points for further testing with more elaborate, time-consuming methods (such as the humidity box test already described) when such methods are required. When testing anhydrite screeds with an electronic moisture meter it’s essential the laitance has been removed from the surface of the screed to gain a meaningful reading. The laitance acts as a barrier or skin, trapping moisture at the surface of the screed, therefore producing a false positive reading on the instrument which is designed to take a correct measurement based on the drying curve of the slab/screed in normal drying conditions.
For the same reason it’s important ambient humidity conditions are within the normal range of between 40-60% to avoid condensation which can also lead to false positive readings. The CM test (known as the bomb test or speedy test in the UK) is the German national standard test and is required as a final certification of moisture conditions of slabs/screeds in many European states. The CM test involves removing a sample of the slab/screed with a hammer and chisel and crushing it using a mortar and pestle, then weighing the required amount and placing into an airtight chamber together with calcium carbide which, when in contact with moisture, produces acetylene gas.
The higher the concentration of moisture the more gas is produced which is read as pressure from the devices gauge. This test is ideal for certain proprietary and fast drying screeds which act by chemically binding most construction moisture and therefore cannot be tested with relative humidity or electrical impedance devices which will give high results. In theory the CM test is the most suitable for anhydrite screeds owing to the chemical nature of the test, showing only ‘free’ moisture which can cause floor failure. In practice, however, the test is easy to get wrong and requires a good deal of knowledge and skill to get exactly right.