3vGeomatics (3vG) is monitoring 10 regularly imaged ALOS-2 footprints across the Appalachian highlands, covering 28,000 square kilometers (10,810 square miles), on behalf of North America’s largest midstream oil & gas operators. Results are delivered after each new image acquisition to provide actionable intelligence, informing operators when and where landslides could jeopardize the integrity of their assets. In total, dozens of landslides have been identified and communicated.
3vG has been acquiring radar satellite images across the Appalachian highlands since July 2018. Given the high degree of vegetation present, 3vG is using the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) ALOS-2 satellite, which uses a long-wavelength (L-band) sensor capable of penetrating through vegetation. InSAR analyzes changes in phase information between radar satellite images to measure displacement with millimeter to centimeter scale precision. Measurements are taken in relation to the orbit frequency of the satellite, which for ALOS-2 is every 14 days.
Determining the location and severity of active geohazards across this large region is not easy nor economical with traditional monitoring techniques and ground instrumentation. Satellite-based remote sensing technologies such as InSAR provide the ability to map contemporary landslides and identify specific locations of risk across vast pipeline networks spanning this region.