Oklahoma Patent of the Month – August 2022

Our world is set up with most of our infrastructure out of sight. Natural gas pipelines, water systems, and communication networks are largely installed below the surface, ensuring we get what we need without any eyesores. But out of sight means out of mind and construction workers may be hurt. Accidentally hitting a high-voltage electric line is easy when you cannot tell where they are. Subsite, LLC has designed a device that can easily detect these subsurface infrastructures and protect underground construction professionals with ease.

Their patented walk-over device uses GPS signals and a magnetic field track to identify underground magnetic field sources. The system is made with a triaxial antenna, GPS receiver, and the software needed to process signals. The triaxial antenna is responsive to a magnetic dipole field.

A conventional tracker only uses GPS and generates a map of the underground utility path and often encounters null points. Subsite’s solution uses the antenna and magnetic field to direct the tracker toa  field null point. Once multiple measurements of the field are taken, the changes in signal strength as the absolute position of the tracker is changed and can be used to determine if the closest field null point is in front of or behind the underground beacon. This allows for an accurate and simple estimation of the position and depth of the beacon. By understanding more than just the general location, workers can have confidence in their Underground Awareness. This knowledge of the depth and orientation can give you a clear plan, more control, and faster reporting for safer, more productive jobs.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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