Companies can now use a radar system to create 3-D maps of underground electric, gas, water and communication lines. Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif. said the radar system can help utility, construction and other underground infrastructure companies detect, locate and create 3-D images of underground features. This information will allow them to better maintain, manage and build new underground networks. Field demonstrations in New York and San Diego showed that the system can create 3-D images of objects at depths up to 10 ft under most conditions.

"The growing economy has placed new pressures on underground utility infrastructure," said Ralph Bernstein, a technical leader at EPRI. "This new radar system will help energy companies improve underground planning and maintenance as well as avoid disruptive construction accidents."