GRSG Member Webinar: Asterra

Title: Using L-band SAR Derived Soil Moisture Maps to Protect Critical Infrastructure

Time and Date: 16:00 Central European Time, 15th May 2024

Speakers: Yuval Lorig, VP R&D and Jonathan Lynch, Geotechnical Lead Asterra

L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) analysis has been introduced commercially since 2015 and has demonstrated the ability to identify the specific dielectric signature of water types, mixed with soil. This specific wavelength allows the differentiation between different types of water such as groundwater and saline water.

L-Band SAR is satellite based and can penetrate tree cover, dry snow and ice, and surfaces such as asphalt, to see into the soil layer, capturing the soil moisture levels from dielectric properties which differ depending upon water type.

ASTERRA EarthWorks patented algorithms allow L-Band SAR data to be converted to soil moisture content and displayed as contoured plans for engineers and asset owners to visualize potential areas of concern and verify existing problem areas.

These remote sensing techniques allow for a large spatial overview of infrastructure and crucially can include areas such as elevated hillsides above roads and railways, which may affect infrastructure through failure events.

This analysis is capable of mapping soil moisture over large areas (up to 3,500 km2 or a 1,359 sq miles per image) without setting foot on site, significantly reducing the carbon footprint for inspection and investigation engineers, carbon saving in the process and identifying new and existing areas of concern for asset managers.

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