Proactive maintenance of bridges and viaducts from satellite

Proactive maintenance of bridges and viaducts from satellite

Keeping the stability of road infrastructures under control, and in specifically of bridges and viaducts, is a necessary and fundamental activity. These infrastructures need scheduled check-ups and constant maintenance programs, suitable for safeguarding their efficiency, durability and reliability.

An effective preventive maintenance program provides for detailed knowledge of the work, together with an advanced static and dynamic monitoring system of the same and of the territorial context in which it is placed.

Radar satellites are a solid information source for engineering companies and maintenance teams who want to activate proactive monitoring programs over large or remote areas. The use of radar satellite data can help monitoring both the stability of infrastructures and ground surface movements in the area of interest by detecting millimeter movements over time, enabling the predictive understanding of phenomena like landslides and ground instability that can damage buildings and infrastructures.

Satellite-based geoinformation and geo-analytics provide a synoptic view of the infrastructure or an entire infrastructure network and of the ground surface dynamics in the nearby area, useful for implementing timely inspections and maintenance activities with lower costs, before the level of damage becomes greater, requiring heavier and more expensive interventions, or even irreversible.

This type of precise and accurate knowledge of the potential phenomena taking place, which for dynamics and entities could have an impact on works and people, is essential for professionals and organizations operating in the design of infrastructures, construction and civil protection.

An interesting example of the use of SAR interferometry for the control of hydrogeological instability and territorial planning is the agreement signed by the Municipality of Milan, Italy and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), to use the radar satellite data of COSMO-SkyMed to monitor and analyze the stability of the provincial road network.

The information resulting from the analysis of satellite data have been made accessible through Planetek Italia's service Rheticus® Safeway which, by integrating archive satellite data and new acquisitions, allowed the analysis and monitoring of trends in soil instability phenomena. The entire network has been divided into road sections and the platform is able to immediately highlight which sections or bridges are undergoing a higher displacement and therefore to be inspected and subjected to further investigation with priority over the others.

DOWNLOAD and read the full article (English translation by Planetek, credits written by Candigliota Elena - PhD, Ricercatrice ENEA, Centro Ricerche Bologna; Clemente Paolo - PhD, Dirigente di Ricerca ENEA, Centro Ricerche Casaccia; Immordino Francesco - Geologo, Primo Ricercatore ENEA, Centro Ricerche Bologna. (Copyright 2020 Ingenio-web by IMREADY Srl)

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