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Central Alliance and Utilis to map soil properties from space


Central Alliance has entered into a partnership with satellite imaging analysis firm Utilis to map soil properties from space.

According to the firms, the technology has the potential to help organisations by mapping the ground remotely from space using satellite imaging analysis, to highlight issues across areas of land, as well as spot areas that could be prone to earthworks or structure failures.

Central Alliance joint managing director Richard Pidcock said: “Advancements in spaceborne technology are set to revolutionise the way we manage our infrastructure and assets. The ability to map ground properties and third-party impacts ‘remotely’ from space is a result of new to the market processing methods and Utilis’ patented algorithm’s that allow us to use spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites to detect water on Earth.

“This is developed from technology used in research to find water on other planets. There are key benefits with this remote technology that enables us to ‘see through’ vegetation and into the ground, day or night and independent of weather conditions.

“The analysis will hopefully allow assessments to be made, potential areas of geotechnical instability identified, as well as risk mapping, and impacts on critical infrastructure.

“The research and development is aimed at identifying the cause of failures, rather than the effects. As is the case with most land-based monitoring systems, this will mark a significant step forwards in taking preventative action prior to failures occurring.

“Much greater areas (70km x 50km approx.) can be monitored using satellite imaging, without the time and resource associated with the traditional methods of field-based inspections and surveys. It also brings significant health and safety benefits and resource efficiencies than ‘Earth-based’ systems.”

The data can be provided stand-alone or combined data geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, drainage and utility mapping to provide a risk map for critical infrastructure.

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