Texas A&M developing system that uses satellites to improve roads

June 10, 2024

Researchers at Texas A&M are using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing systems to identify infrastructure issues more efficiently. Their goal is to improve the management and maintenance of transportation infrastructure.

The team led by Dr. Anand Puppala and Ph.D. candidate Amit Gajurel are developing a method to use SAR technology to inspect pavement, retaining walls and embankments from space.

Their findings are detailed in an extensive report, which outlines their methodologies and comprehensive conclusions. The researchers monitored runways, aprons and transportation-related pavement at a Texas A&M campus for their case study.

As infrastructure systems age, they can become unsafe and more expensive to fix. The ability to detect structural deficiencies such as cracks or potholes early saves funds, increases road safety and prevents further damage.

Traditional methods of infrastructure diagnosis, such as visual inspection, sampling and lab testing, can take five days to complete. Using SAR to monitor infrastructure and pavement conditions takes only two days and can save costs on asset management, researchers said.

The benefits of early detection include planning for repairs ahead of time and budgeting for potential issues, the team said. By incorporating SAR data, asset managers can address flaws early and avoid emergencies, according to the report.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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