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Infrastructure performance could be measured from space, research suggests

insar data from bank staion upgrage

Research into integrating Insar satellite measurements with digital engineering models and conventional surveying methods could be used to monitor infrastructure, new research has suggested.

The research by Sakthy Selvakumaran a PhD researcher in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, discusses how satellite radar data can monitor millimetre-scale displacements to help predict weaknesses in built infrastructure assets from space.

With environmental changes, such as flooding, coastal erosion, the research argues that infrastructure assets are under increasing strain and will experience different conditions, loading and performance outcomes than they were originally intended.

Selvakumaran said: “Combining a range of monitoring technologies enables assessment of new generation techniques and comparison with more traditional monitoring. The reliability of Insar applications can be assessed for future use and identify opportunities to embed new practice into current methods.”

Citing a number of current live projects featuring Insar techniques, the research has looked at data sets gathered in the traditional way around the tunnelling for London Underground’s Bank Station capacity upgrade, and compared it to the Insar data. Information from structural models is also being used to validate and understand the opportunities and limitations..

Selvakumaran adds: “A key potential benefit of this process is to better understand the performance of our structures; robust and reliable data can leverage whole-life value of an asset or portfolio of assets by informing more efficient asset management.”

The research has been funded by EPSRC (UK), icase sponsorship from the National Physical Laboratory and additional funding from Laing O’Rourke, CSIC, the Satellite Applications Catapult, and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDDB). It has been published in the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES) journal Geospatial Engineering 2018-2019.

 

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