Sensing underground infrastructure

Published on
January 24, 2024

What do we know about what lies beneath the ground?

Researchers are developing gravity sensors to help detect deep-underground hazards such as sinkholes, mineshafts and landslides faster and more precisely, so potential catastrophes can be spotted earlier and averted.

Did you know that underground conditions present the largest single risk in infrastructure projects? But…if we could see underground, just like we can see overground, there are many ways in which we could detect problems, and try and fix them before it is too late.

For instance, understanding what lies beneath the ground would also help to protect the existing infrastructure and necessitate fewer, less invasive roadworks. If a rail track can be surveyed weekly, landslips could be spotted before it is too late. A clearer picture of the underground would also help civil engineers plan buildings before construction starts.

Gravity gradient sensor technology allows imaging much deeper below ground than current remote sensing tools are able to do, and measurements are also faster. This capability opens up the possibility of transforming huge sectors and industries, from both an economic and safety point of view.

Gravity sensors will also make a huge difference to everyday life – it will mean clearer roads, due to roadwork interventions, rapid broadband and mobile connections, and even more precise and accurate measurements of droughts, floods and ocean current levels.



What's happening

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

No items found.