Sonic Echo/Impulse Response for Pile Integrity Testing

Sonic Echo-Impulse Response is used for low strain integrity testing of piles and determination of deep foundation length.

The Sonic Echo-Impulse Response test method (also known as the Pile Integrity Test, or PIT) is designed to determine the length and integrity of foundations when the top or part of the upper side of the foundation is accessible.  This method can be used on both new and existing foundations and is performed by impacting the foundation and recording echoes from a defect or the foundation bottom with a nearby receiver(s). This Pile Integrity Test method works best for columnar type foundations such as piles and drilled shafts, but has also been used successfully on mat foundations, abutment walls, and similar structures. Sonic Echo-Impulse Response is applicable on concrete, wood, and round steel pipe foundations.

The Sonic Echo (SE) method is normally conducted in conjunction with the Impulse Response (IR) method together as the Sonic Echo/Impulse Response method. The SE function in Olson's SE/IR-1 Model uses the time domain data for the interpretation of reflections. The IR function provides the user with the ability to transform data from time domain into frequency domain. The software then automatically calculates the transfer and coherence functions, which may be useful for data quality analysis as well as providing further information about reflections within the structure. Olson Instruments also sells a base model SE-1 system that exclusively uses the Sonic Echo methodology without the Impulse Response analysis. This system, along with its associated software, uses only the time domain information in the data for the interpretation of reflections.

Data Platform Required, Sold Separately

Freedom Data PC
NDE-DAQ Platform NDE-DAQ
NDE 360 NDE 360
FTG SM Cutout FTG requires Windows Device
(performs SE only)

Olson's SE and SE/IR Models are sold as add-on systems for the NDE-DAQ, NDE 360 and Freedom Data PC platforms while the Foundation Test Gauge (FTG), which performs SE only, is designed to be used with a Windows Device supplied by the user.

The SE/IR-1 + PS-1 Model combines Sonic Echo/Impulse Response (SE/IR) with Parallel Seismic (PS) for complete foundation testing at a reduced price as the systems share many common components.

Applicable On:
  • Drilled Shafts
  • (Bored Piles)
  • Auger Cast Concrete Piles
  • Driven Concrete Piles
  • Bridge Abutments
  • Wall Piers
  • Wood Piles
Test For:
  • Cracks
  • Voids
  • Soil Intrusions
  • Uncured or Weak Concrete
  • Diameter Changes
    (bulb or neck)
  • Deep Foundation Depths
Meets ASTM:
  • ASTM D5882-00
Meets ACI:
  • ACI 228.2R

Key Features & Specifications

System design allows for fast and accurate field measurements Exponentially amplify time domain SE data with time to enhance weak echoes
Real-time waveform display while testing Digital filtering of SE data with lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandreject options to enhance identification of echo events and minimize background noise
System is compact, durable, and easily transported allowing for multiple tests per day Mobility transfer function display (velocity/force versus frequency) of IR results to identify resonant peaks indicative of echo depths and average mobility
Accurate within 5% in determining foundation depth Flexibility transfer function display (displacement/force versus frequency) of IR results to identify pile head stiffness at low frequency
Automatic/manual selection of echo events in SE/IR records with Olson's WinSEIR software and echo depth prediction based on user input velocity (English or metric units). Advanced user-tunable automatic first signal arrival picking algorithm
Ability to perform tests with both accelerometer and geophone transducers simultaneously in SE or IR tests Integrate and average acceleration and velocity response data to velocity in SE tests for enhanced identification of echoes

Hands-on training is available for all of our NDE test methods at our Wheat Ridge, Colorado (USA) location, which is a suburb located approximately 15 minutes northwest of downtown Denver. Training may be available at your location by one of our agents/engineers upon special arrangement.


Save money! Contact Olson when adding on to an existing system, or purchasing multiple systems as some of the components are common to other test methods.

For complete details about any of our products, call our toll free number at 1-888-423-1214 or email Olson Instruments: