The purpose behind the 1997 opening of the "geophysical test site" at the Nantes Laboratory: to seek and develop methods for locating and identifying objects buried in the ground at shallow depths.
The site has been intended, first and foremost, for the application of methods to locate buried objects given the assumption of perfectly-controlled conditions: the soils are well identified and carefully compacted to ensure their stability over time; the objects (e.g. various pipes, boulders, voids, masonry work) are precisely positioned on a local geodesic coordinate system. This application serves to: discern the performance of both methods and equipment, carry out the necessary adjustments and fine-tuning, and then provide data for testing or calibrating numerical models.
The geophysical test site is also of great utility in conducting comparative tests on equipment or methods, on behalf of users of measurement instruments. Moreover, it provides an excellent support facility both for training in the implementation of geophysical methods and for the interpretation of measurement readings and images.