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Keeping transport systems on track

29 February 2016

Operators of UK transport networks are the first who are set to benefit from Live Land, a satellite-based land monitoring system developed through ESA.

Transport operators across the UK face significant challenges in monitoring and detecting landslides and subsidence across their networks. Incidents in the vicinity of roads and railways, resulting from such geological hazards, can disrupt business and communities.

The Live Land demonstration project will help to assess and monitor high-risk areas by providing more information on geological hazards along their network using integrated data from navigation and Earth observation satellites.

Radar images from Europe's Sentinel-1A observation satellite detect surface motion changes with centimetre precision or even better. This is complemented with data from satnav receivers and sensors installed for in-situ monitoring in specific locations.

This space-based information is combined with knowledge about the geology of the area and weather forecasts. For example, an area of steep slopes and wet soil that is expecting heavy rainfall is at a higher risk of a landslide.

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