Non-contact ice thickness indicator ‘PicoR ICE’ powered by XeThru radar tech
Icy water is used for transportation of goods during winter many places in the world today, linking dry land over frozen waterways, to portages and other winter roads. These roads reduce the cost of materials that otherwise would ship as expensive air freight, and allow movement of objects where air freight is impractical, for example due to size or weight. These types of roads are usually remade each winter, and there are some obvious safety issues associated with constructing a road on icy water. A sunk vehicle could be fatal for people inside and would also represent a large cost for a transport company in addition to potentially lost cargo. Nor is a rescue operation of the cheap kind, needless to say. Today measurement of ice thickness is most commonly done by manual drilling. In Russia, frozen rivers and lakes are used for transportation in a large part of the country. The imminent safety concern associated with ice roads brought the desire for fast non-contact measurement of ice thickness on icy water roads. This lead KBOR to Novelda when they wanted to develop their Picor Ice measurement product for handheld and vehicle mounted ice thickness measurements. XeThru technology has a great ability to see through different materials, also ice and snow even though water is regarded as a difficult material to penetrate with electromagnetic waves. The XeThru based device can be mounted on a hovercraft or a light vehicle for inspection of the road at speeds up to 40 kmh with an accuracy of 1 cm while geotagging the data via GPS. This functionality offers an unprecedented control of the actual load capacity of the ice along the whole course of a road, ensuring safety for man and material. KBOR’s ice thickness indicator is based on the X1 chip and is in use today in many regions of Russia, monitoring ice thickness on lakes used for transportation by trucks and cars. For this product the JSC Design Bureau of experimental work - KBOR, became a laureate in “Innovation product of the year” price from the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry. The video shows how our device plots a relatively low level real time 2D image of the scenario, pin-pointing the dielectric transitions between the mediums from air to ice to water and ground.