Concrete Scanning for 5G Internet Installation

GPRS Provides Precision Concrete Scanning for Telecom Project at Arrowhead Stadium

Concrete Scanning for 5G Internet Installation

GPRS Provides Precision Concrete Scanning for Telecom Project at Arrowhead Stadium

When one of the National Football League’s oldest teams needed to install 5G cellular antennas at its home stadium, they called GPRS to provide precision concrete scanning and imaging services and ensure the safety of everyone involved in the project.

Project Manager Joshua Schmoe brought GPRS concrete scanning services to the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, where the defending Super Bowl champs were looking to boost their fans’ cell phone signals on game days by installing 5G antennas throughout the 51-year-old facility.

Over the course of three visits, Schmoe scanned 18 locations where antennas were to be installed along the concrete steps leading to seats in Arrowhead’s upper bowl. The antennas were installed tight along the handrail running down the center of the steps, so as not to interfere with fans traveling to and from their seats.

Like many stadiums and arenas in the United States, Arrowhead Stadium is a cashless facility and many fans who attend games do so with digital tickets saved on their mobile devices. It is essential that these devices can function properly so that everything from admission to popcorn purchases goes off without a hitch.

For over 20 years, GPRS has worked closely with telecommunication companies to provide subsurface information during the installation of infrastructure such as cellular antennas. We have completed projects for many of the largest telecom companies in the United States, giving our Project Managers experience in all telecom-related settings including OSP construction, macro tower placement and modifications, ISP placement and installation, small cells, fiber optic installation, and more.

GPRS is also familiar with visualizing the infrastructure inside stadiums and arenas across the United States. From concrete imaging to 3D laser scanning, we assist in the construction, renovation, maintenance, and operation of the country’s premier entertainment venues. And from time to time, we even get to help blur the line between reality and special effects to take the fan experience to another level.

Chalk markings on concrete steps.
GPRS Project Manager Joshua Schmoe used ground penetrating radar to mark out post-tension cable and wire mesh present in the concrete steps of Arrowhead Stadium.

At Arrowhead, Schmoe was asked to identify and locate post-tension cable and wire mesh embedded within the concrete stairs.

“I marked out on a grid right on the concrete so they could avoid everything,” he said. “There were a few spots where, because of existing items within the concrete, the antennas couldn’t go exactly where they wanted them. So, they would pick another area, and move up a few flights of stairs to overcome that.”

When an antenna was relocated to account for the mesh and post-tension cable that Schmoe located, at least one other antenna location had to also be changed so that the devices could remain within range of each other. Schmoe would then verify that the area in which the other antenna was being relocated was also clear of subsurface obstructions.

Schmoe’s work ensured that construction workers coring through the concrete remained safe during the installation of the antennas.

When sawing or coring concrete, it’s essential to avoid striking support structures such as post-tension cable or rebar. Damaging these elements could cause a catastrophic structural failure that leads to costly repairs, severe injuries, and even deaths.

Wire mesh typically serves no structural purpose in a fully cured concrete slab - its primary function is to support the concrete while it’s curing – so it’s not usually necessary to avoid this material when cutting or coring concrete. However, it was no problem for Schmoe to tailor our concrete scanning services to also identify the mesh’s location so that it could be avoided during installation of the antennas.

A worker uses ground penetrating radar on a concrete wall.
An example of ground penetrating radar being used on a concrete wall. GPR is the most widely used and accurate technology for seeing within concrete structures.

Ground penetrating radar is the most widely used and safest technology for seeing within concrete structures.

GPR is a non-destructive detection and imaging method in which a radio signal is sent into a concrete structure. The radio wave interacts with any material it encounters, creating a reading in which these interactions show up on the GPR display as hyperbolas. This data is then interpreted by GPRS Project Managers to determine the type of material present within the concrete.

Scanning concrete with GPR reveals rebar, post-tension cable, electrical conduit, voids, and more. It’s also an effective method of structural review including concrete slab measurements and rebar spacing.

Scanning the concrete at Arrowhead helped the project team avoid costly delays and dangerous mishaps as they worked to improve the fan-going experience at the stadium.

For Schmoe, a lifelong Chiefs fan, getting to see his beloved team’s stadium when few others were around was just the cherry on top.

“It was really cool seeing the different stages of the field, like before games are being played,” he said. “I’ve never seen it when it wasn’t ready for a game.”

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World™ to keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe.

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