Science Service System

Summary of Proposal LAN2404

TitleHigh Resolution Satellite-Acquired Synthetic Aperture Radar Data toMonitor Road Pavement Conditions
Investigator Necsoiu, Marius - Southwest Research Institute, Geosciences and Engineering Division
Team Members
Manager Walter, Gary - Southwest Research Institute, Geosciences and Engineering
SummaryAcceleratedroad degradation resulting from a high level of heavy truck traffic has beenidentified as a significant impact to transportation infrastructureparticularly that associated with development of shale oil and gasresources using hydraulic fracturing technology (Texas Department ofTransportation, 2012). These impacts area concern not only in the area of the Eagle Ford play in Texas, but also inother areas of the United States with shale oil and gas resources, such as overthe Marcellus Shale in the eastern United States, the Bakken Shale in NorthDakota, and the potential shale oil/gas plays in west Texas andCalifornia. Development of shale gasresources in Europe is expected to have similar adverse impacts to thetransportation infrastructure. Wepropose to investigate the ability of high resolution TerraSAR-X satellite datato identify sections of highways potentially experiencing accelerateddegradation, and, hopefully, demonstrate a proof of concept for thesetechnologies. Quantitative surfaceparameter estimation will be based on using radar backscattering coefficientsand other interferometric observables. If successful, our approach could thenbe marketed for use in surveying broad areas of primary and secondary roadways,and identifying sections in need of onsite inspection and evaluation. To testthe methodology, data will be acquired over a nine-month period for roadsegments with a variety of pavement ages and traffic loading in the vicinity ofSouthwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas where synoptic observations ofpavement and environment conditions can be correlated with the SAR acquisitions.It is anticipated that the results of this effort will be published inpeer-reviewed journals and provide the scientific basis for future TSX-basedcontributions.
Detailed report.

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