Automated Infrastructure Monitoring Detects Movement and Informs Action

The Earth really does move under your feet, but you probably don’t feel it. Land movement is constantly occurring and can either be from natural phenomena or caused by human activity. Regardless, when your job is to manage and maintain infrastructure, it’s essential to monitor this movement so you can understand the risks and develop a mitigation plan.

Understanding how the ground is moving over time is critical for infrastructures such as dams, roadways, tunnels, railways, and much more. Using remotely sensed data is one of the best ways of identifying changes, however, processing and analyzing large volumes of data can be time-consuming, costly, and prohibitive for those without resources or know-how, which is exactly why ENVI® Insight was created.

ENVI Insight is a powerful and robust automated monitoring service. One common use for this monitoring service is identifying sub-centimetre ground displacement in near real-time. To do this, it takes Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. It combines it with advanced analytics to derive results in an easily understandable format that can be integrated into existing GIS systems and dashboards that provide valuable insights into the health and stability of an area.

To understand what is considered normal movement, a historical baseline is created using three years of data. ENVI Insight then automatically fetches new imagery, performs analysis, and delivers results back to operators to help assess the risks. This information is used as a tipping and cue mechanism to assist operators in deciding where expensive human resources should be deployed. Since this process is automated, it provides stakeholders across an organization with a comprehensive view of what is happening around an entire facility regularly while saving valuable time, resources, and money.

ENVI Insight’s ability to monitor infrastructure at scale makes it an ideal solution for a wide range of applications, including monitoring movement on or around roads and bridges to ensure that Department of Transportation planners are alerted to potential issues before they become major problems. Similarly, it can be used to monitor the stability of pipelines, helping to prevent costly and dangerous leaks.

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Organizations around the globe are currently using ENVI Insight to determine acceptable ground movement and detect instability that requires further analysis. One recent customer, Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC), a not-for-profit, innovation and technology organization, partnered with NV5 Geospatial as part of its work with the Church of England Pension Board to demonstrate that space-based data could be used to create an effective ground-motion monitoring service for mine tailings dams. Read more about this application here.