The Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) System: Technology Demonstrator for Remote Monitoring of Transportation Earthworks

Lead Research Organisation: NERC British Geological Survey
Department Name: Engineering Geology

Abstract

The proposed project seeks to change current asset management practice with an economically viable monitoring and early warning system, PRIME, that produces near-real-time information to provide decision support and 'solutions' for a range of infrastructure earthwork instability problems.

In particular, this project aims to demonstrate and validate newly developed geophysical monitoring technology as a means of improving the resilience of vulnerable rail and water transportation earthworks infrastructure to environmental risks, such as extreme weather and flooding. The new technology could stream near-real-time information on the internal condition of earthworks direct to geotechnical asset owners - thereby allowing slope failure processes to be identified at an early stage so low cost preventative intervention can be planned with minimal disruption to infrastructure (rather than high-cost renewal and remediation of catastrophic earthwork failures, which can be highly disruptive - particularly for the rail industry due to financial penalties associated with delays).

In response to guidance by the industrial partners we aim to further demonstrate and validate the PRIME concept by testing the approach in a greater range of operational settings, including a railway embankment and a water retaining structure on the canal network. This will allow the project team (asset owners, managers and research providers) to consider a range of practical deployment options, demonstrate an adaptive intelligent monitoring approach, undertake a cost benefit analysis, and formally assess the Technology Readiness Level of PRIME by drawing upon the outcomes of the case studies developed under this project and the study undertaken during the related Innovation B project. The overarching aim of the project is to provide the necessary evidence to the stakeholders that PRIME is applicable as an economically viable monitoring, early warning and decision support system (i.e. a 'solution') for a range of infrastructure earthwork instability problems.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have established two test sites to demonstrate the newly developed PRIME monitoring hardware. The first site is on an operational railway near Nottingham, and the second is on a canal embankment in the Brecon Beacons. We have demonstrated the technology for monitoring these assets, we have considered the technology readiness level of the technology, disseminated information relating to the technology to potential end-users, and have developed a plan for progressing the technology development.
Exploitation Route We have continued the development of PRIME technology by winning further innovation funding. Ultimately the goal is to commercialise the technology to facilitate end-user access and take-up.
Sectors Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Transport

 
Description To provide an improved understanding of the condition of geotechnical assets (i.e. earthworks) owned by stakeholder partners.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Other
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Environmental Risk to Infrastructure Innovation Programme
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N012933/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 07/2016
 
Description Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme
Amount £205,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P00914X/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 06/2018
 
Description AMRITA - India 
Organisation Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
Country India 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Reconnaissance trip in advance of installation of landslide monitoring system.
Collaborator Contribution Hosting project staff and collaborating with the installation of new landslide monitoring technology.
Impact Too early.
Start Year 2017
 
Description ARUP 
Organisation Arup Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact Ongoing - project just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ATKINS 
Organisation WS Atkins
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact Ongoing - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description CNR-IMAA 
Organisation National Research Council
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Shared experience of landslide characterisation and monitoring. Hosted a visit by researchers from CNR-IMAA.
Collaborator Contribution Shared experience of landslide characterisation and monitoring. Hosted a visit by researchers from BGS.
Impact Too early.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Canal & River Trust 
Organisation Canal & River Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Advice and expertise on the stability of geotechnical assets. Information on new and emerging technology that will be potentially beneficial to the partner.
Collaborator Contribution Steerage of technology development project. Provision of test site for technology demonstration. Provision of data and information. Health and safety advice and support for technology installation at demonstration site.
Impact New geophysical monitoring instrument (PRIME). New demonstration site on operational railway. New monitoring data arising from the test site. Conference papers.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Environment Agency 
Organisation Environment Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Steering group member, provision of test site, site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description HS2 
Organisation High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just starting.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Highways England 
Organisation Department of Transport
Department Highways Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member, provision of test site, site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ITM Monitoring 
Organisation ITM Monitoring
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Kier 
Organisation Kier Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member. Pilot site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description National Grid 
Organisation The National Grid Co plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member, provision of pilot site, site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project has only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Network Rail 
Organisation Network Rail Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Advice and expertise on the stability of geotechnical assets. Information on new and emerging technology that will be potentially beneficial to the partner.
Collaborator Contribution Steerage of technology development project. Provision of test site for technology demonstration. Provision of data and information. Health and safety advice and support for technology installation at demonstration site.
Impact New geophysical monitoring instrument (PRIME). New demonstration site on operational railway. New monitoring data arising from the test site. Conference papers.
Start Year 2013
 
Description RSSB 
Organisation Rail Safety and Standards Board
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Scottish Canals 
Organisation Scottish Canals
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Advice and expertise on the stability of geotechnical assets. Information on new and emerging technology that will be potentially beneficial to the partner.
Collaborator Contribution Steerage of technology development project. Provision of data and information.
Impact New geophysical monitoring instrument (PRIME). Conference papers.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Transport Scotland 
Organisation Transport Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description University of Parma 
Organisation University of Parma
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sharing expertise and experience in landslide and slope stability monitoring. Hosting visits by partners - including trips to field sites.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing expertise and experience in landslide and slope stability monitoring. Hosting visits by partners - including trips to field sites.
Impact Too early.
Start Year 2016
 
Title Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation System 
Description A new low-cost low-power geophysical ground imaging and monitoring instrument. The IPR for the system is owned by BGS. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Commercial monitoring work using the new system has been undertaken.
 
Title Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) system 
Description New low-cost low-power geophysical ground imaging and monitoring instrument. 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The new hardware system is being deployed for commercial work. 
 
Description CIRIA/NERC-ERIIP Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A showcase of NERC-funded innovation projects that take the outcomes of existing research and translate these into industry-relevant information and tools to help UK infrastructure identify environmental risks, assess their impacts on infrastructure and develop solutions. This webinar will focus on the risks posed by geological hazards to infrastructure. I presented on PRIME technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ciria.org/CIRIA/Navigation/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=E17701
 
Description Energy Networks Association - Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk to Energy Networks Association Working Group, Horseferry Road, London, to discuss PRIME technology in relation to flood risk to energy networks. Audience include National Grid and representative of most of the UK energy supply companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Geophysics for Critical Infrastructure, Meeting of the Geological Society, Nottingham, 16th July 2015. Talk title: 'Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation: automated time-lapse resistivity imaging for the assessment and management of infrastructure earthworks' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk given on PRIME technology at Geological Society meeting. The purpose of the talk was to disseminate knowledge and information about the new developed PRIME geophysical monitoring technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.bgs.ac.uk/news/diary/gci-programme.pdf
 
Description Ground Engineering Instrumentation and Monitoring Workshop - Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation given to an audience of civil engineers.

Chambers, JE, 2016. The management and delivery of subsurface information from non-invasive ground imaging systems. Ground Engineering Instrumentation and Monitoring 2017, Asset Condition Monitoring Workshop, London, 15 March 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting of the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum, BGS, Nottingham, 3rd March 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was involved in hosting the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum (GAOF) at BGS on 3rd March 2016. GAOF comprises representatives of the major UK geotechnical asset owners including Network Rail, London Underground, Scottish Canals, Canal and River Trust, Highways Agency and Scottish Transport. GAOF requested to hold their meeting at BGS so they could review the PRIME technology and visit the PRIME test site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited attendance at the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum, CIRIA Offices, London, 07/02/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to attend the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum to discuss a new project set up by CIRIA called 'Deterioration and degradation modelling of infrastructure assets'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2017
 
Description Invited keynote lecture at the 4th International Workshop on Geoelectrical Monitoring, Vienna, 23/11/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chambers, JE, Wilkinson, PB, Meldrum, PI, Uhlemann, S, Gunn, D, Kuras, O, Inauen, C, Swift, R, Merritt, A, Whiteley, J, 2017. KEYNOTE LECTURE: Geophysical characterization, monitoring and early warning of slope failure: a review of methodological developments at the Hollin Hill landslide observatory. GELMON 2017 - 4th International Workshop on Geoelectrical Monitoring, 22-24 November, Vienna, Austria.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited lecture at the Institute of Civil Engineers, London, 26th November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited lecture at an event designed to promote PRIME technology to the civil engineering and geotechnical communities. The event was entitled 'Priming the industry: an innovation in earthworks monitoring' and consisted of the lecture followed by a discussion between an invited panel of geotechnical specialists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ice.org.uk/eventarchive/priming-the-industry-an-innovation-in-earthworks-m
 
Description Invited presentation at Geotechnica 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation given to geotechnical specialists/practitioners/consultants/contractors.

Chambers, JE and Gunn, D, 2015. Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation. Geotechnica 2015, Leamington Spa 8 July 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited presentation given at the EAGE Near Surface Geoscience 2018 'Geophysics in Support of Infrastructure Planning' Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chambers, JE, Meldrum, PI, Wilkinson, PB, Uhlemann, S, Swift, R, Inauen, C, Kuras, O, Abbott, S, Butler, S, Whiteley, J, Kendall, JM, 2017. Monitoring the condition of infrastructure earthworks and slopes using low-cost low-power autonomous electrical resistivity tomography technology. EAGE Near Surface Geoscience 2018, Workshop - Geophysics in support of infrastructure planning, Malmo, Sweden, September 2017. (Invited Presentation).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited presentation to the NERC Knowledge Exchange Network 'Seeing inside the subsurface - an introduction to the Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation System', Portsmouth, 25/05/18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk given to NERC KEN.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk 'Remote condition monitoring of geotechnical assets: an introduction to the Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) System', given at the Arup offices, London, 21/03/17. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk given to the geotechnical staff at the Arup offices in Bloomsbury, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk at the British Dam Society 20th Biennial Conference, Swansea University, 13-15 September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk entitled "Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME): remote condition monitoring of earth dams using a novel low-power autonomous ground imaging system", given within the 'Innovative Technologies for Improving the Management of Dams and Reservoirs' session of the conference. The talk was intended to provide civil engineers engaged in dam infrastructure monitoring with information on a new monitoring technology (i.e. PRIME).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at the British Dam Society 20th Biennial Conference, Swansea University, 13-15 September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk entitled "Experiences in the use of PRIME", given within the "Remote Monitoring" session of the conference. The talk was intended to provide civil engineers engaged in dam infrastructure monitoring with information on a new monitoring technology (i.e. PRIME).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote at World Canals Conference 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chambers, JE, 2016. Remote condition assessment of canal earthworks using novel geophysical monitoring technologies. World Canals Conference (Keynote), Inverness, 19 September 2016.

Talk given to a mixed audience of engineers, volunteers, government (including cabinet member of Scottish Government).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://wccscotland.com/speakers/
 
Description NERC ERIIP Brokerage Event - Invited Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited presentation on 'Innovation Success' relating to the NERC ERIIP PRIME project. Given to a mixed audience of industry and academics.

Chambers, JE, 2016. The Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME). NERC Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme brokerage event. London, 8th March 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Overview of KE Fellowship - presented to the NERC Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme (ERIIP) Board, London, 16/01/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to provide an overview of my KE fellowship to the ERIIP board.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description US Transportation Research Board - Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine - Transportation Research Board Webinar. The goal of the webinar was to provide training to (1) recognize geotechnical related applications using electrical resistivity, and (2) understand how to use electrical resistivity to assess site variability and assist in the rapid site characterization for transportation project delivery. The audience was approximately 350.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.trb.org/Calendar/Blurbs/174866.aspx
 
Description Visit to National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA), 5th to 6th November. Talk title: 'The development of time-lapse electrical imaging for landslide and infrastructure monitoring' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Visit and talk given at CNR, Italy. Purpose of the visit was for knowledge exchange in the area of technologies for monitoring unstable slopes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Visit to the University of Parma 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Visit to the University of Parma to give an invited lecture and to discuss potential collaboration. New links made with a number of academics, postgraduate students and practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017