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Roadways span the globe. People rely on this transportation infrastructure to connect our communities with goods and services. Monitoring roadways for geohazards is important not only for the health and safety of our populations, but also for the impact on all levels of the economy. Maintaining road infrastructure is critical for everything from shipping and logistics, to transportation and urban vehicle traffic.

Roadway monitoring technology is typically limited to visual inspection, optical surveys, GPS, aerial photography, drones, and LiDAR. However, collating these various data sources can be slow and impact the responsiveness of proactive, or even reactive risk mitigation efforts. Additionally, knowing where to install equipment requires existing knowledge of geohazard risks. Installation of in-situ instrumentation may require traffic interruptions and permits. Budget allocation for expensive monitoring technologies such as LiDAR can be prohibitive for local and regional governments.

InSAR can cost-effectively cover roadways, highways, and elevated road networks more frequently than aerial systems and monitor thousands of kilometres of roads all at once. The deployment of InSAR doesn’t require installing equipment, access to roadways, or traffic interruptions. When using several InSAR image footprints, InSAR can cover large areas and detect thousands of potential hazards to any stretch of road or highway. InSAR satellite monitoring can also be complementary to existing solutions and increase the viewshed of existing risks or identify emerging threats for the installation of additional monitoring equipment.

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Monitoring Roadways using InSAR

Current techniques like aerial surveying and LiDAR, whether visual, by UAV, or even using optical satellite data, are limited by weather conditions, cloud coverage, and vegetation. In-situ instrumentation, surveying, or GPS monitoring only provides data at specific locations after the time of installation. It can be prohibitively expensive to cover entire roadway networks.

Until now, monitoring of roadways has been challenging due to the varied terrain, topography, ground cover, and distance that these networks traverse. Rock falls, landslides, and flooding can damage or inhibit access to roads, or even put human life in jeopardy. InSAR offers the only precise, large-scale, and cost-effective solution for monitoring these assets. 3vG boasts an unmatched relationship with unique satellite operators to harness vegetation-specific data sources and algorithms that mitigate the effect of varied terrain and vegetation growth.

3vG’s InSAR monitoring isn’t limited by weather conditions and operates independently of daylight hours. Roadway access and traffic interruptions aren’t necessary to conduct InSAR monitoring. Image footprints cover thousands of square kilometres and track hundreds of thousands to millions of points at millimetre to centimetre level precision.

3vG has developed tools to easily identify and alert transportation authorities as soon as possible when risks develop. 3vG boasts an unmatched data delivery turnaround of within 24 hours after image reception, leading to the fastest InSAR detection time in the industry. Paired with wide area coverage, displacement monitoring can be applied to new construction and preloading, as well as monitoring existing risks for mitigation efforts such as spider mesh installation and abutments.

Benefits of using 3vG for Roadway Monitoring

3vG’s InSAR technology has been applied to identify displacement as early as possible to allow civil and linear infrastructure projects to respond and mitigate any risks associated with construction and ongoing operation since 2010. Our wide area coverage, frequent imaging repeat, and algorithms designed specifically for linear infrastructure, allow for high precision monitoring. These factors allow for advancements in risk detection such as determining the direction of displacement, identifying areas of acceleration, and highlighting areas of real displacement over measurement noise. In just one image footprint, 3vG’s InSAR technology can inform transportation authorities and risk managers of risks along the full length of preexisting road networks, active construction zones, and all surrounding infrastructure.

InSAR data quality varies over time and spatially within individual images. For some areas, very precise displacement estimates are possible (2 mm or less). 3vG has developed the means to report any statistically significant displacement, regardless of its magnitude. In contrast, more standard approaches use simple thresholding to visualize displacement areas. For roadways, where the consequences of failure are high, more data can mean better decision making.

What is InSAR?

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) is a satellite remote sensing technology used for mapping ground displacement across a number of sectors.

Discover the benefits of using InSAR and learn more about this fascinating technology and how it can be applied to your next project by clicking the button below.

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  • An overview of the technology
  • Benefits of using InSAR
  • Available Satellite Options
  • How 3vG can help
  • What you will get
We are very impressed with this data. We realized that we have problems right now in several areas caused by rain. We saw them shown in red on the map.”
Municipality of La Paz

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