Predicting, Monitoring and Alerting of Landslides and Subsidence Affecting the Transport Infrastructure

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  • ActivityFeasibility Study
  • Closing date07 February 2014

The objective of this IAP (ARTES element 20) Feasibility Study is to assess the feasibility of using space based assets to assist in predicting landslides and subsidence likely to affect the transport infrastructure in order to reduce the damage to this infrastructure, the risk to the transport users and the cost of both operation and travel disruption. The study will address both the road and rail sector.

Feasibility Study

The study shall assess the feasibility and viability of providing various types of services:

  • predicting when landslides, subsidence or other forms of terrain movement will occur (and are likely to affect road or railways),
  • monitoring of the transport infrastructure and environment around it, to feed both into predictive models and alerting systems,
  • alerting the responsible authorities and transport users (individual road users and rail transport operators).

An integrated solution providing these services shall be defined in the study, demonstrating the added value of multiple space assets. A critical element of the integrated solution is the provision of two services: it must enable alerting of predicted events, as well as real time or near real time alerting of actual events. Three space-based capabilities are relevant for the integration into the potential services: Earth Observation, Satellite Communications and Satellite Navigation.

  • Earth Observation as a source for information on landslides and subsidence as well as for relevant meteorological forecast and its predictive models;
  • Satellite Communications for data collection and for alerting, complementing terrestrial communication systems;
  • Satellite Navigation complementing the Earth Observation data in detecting land movements in critical areas.

These space capabilities would be deployed to complement a variety of terrestrial solutions, e.g. LIDAR (both fixed and aerial), mobile patrols, video surveillance, pre-emptive clearance. The aim is to identify the optimum combinations for a range of different types of target locations. The study content will include as tasks: stakeholder / user consolidation, refinement of user requirements, state of the art analysis, service definition, system definition, proof of concept, viability analysis, and implementation roadmap.

For More Information

Information on the call for proposals has been published on ESA’s Electronic Mail Invitation to Tendering System, EMITS (, under the reference AO 6884 (under “Open Invitations to Tender”). The applicable tender solicitation package can be downloaded by registered users under this 'Announcement of Opportunity' (AO). This specific call is open for applications until 1st of November 2011. 'Entity Registration' is possible on the same website.