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Summary of Proposal LAN2092

TitleSatellite-Acquired Synthetic Aperture Radar Data to Detect and Monitor Road Degradation from Heavy Truck Traffic
Investigator Necsoiu, Marius - Southwest Research Institute, Geosciences and Engineering Division
Team Member
Research Walter, Gary - Southwest Research Institute, Dept. of Earth, Material and Planetary Sciences
SummaryAccelerated road degradation resulting from a high level of heavy truck traffic has been identified as a significant impact associated with development of shale oil and gas resources using hydraulic fracturing technology (Texas Department of Transportation, 2012).These impacts are a concern not only in the area of the Eagle Ford play in Texas, but also in other areas of the United States with shale oil and gas resources, such as over the Marcellus Shale in the eastern United States, the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, and the potential shale oil/gas plays in west Texas and California.Development of shale gas resources in Europe is expected to have similar adverse impacts to the transportation infrastructure.We propose to investigate the ability of high resolution TerraSAR-X satellite data to identify sections of highways potentially experiencing accelerated degradation, and, hopefully, demonstrate a proof of concept for these technologies.Quantitative surface parameter estimation will be based on using radar backscattering coefficients and interferometric observables (Hajnek and Cloude, 2005). If successful, our approach could then be marketed for use in surveying broad areas of rural county, state, and federal highways and identifying sections in need of onsite inspection and evaluation. To test the methodology, data will be acquired over a one year period for road segments over the Eagle Ford Shale (Texas) that have and have not been identified as being degraded due to heavy truck traffic.Data acquisition will be coordinated with representatives from local Texas counties interested in the impacts to their roads due to Eagle Ford Shale development.It is anticipated that the results of this effort will be published in peer-reviewed journals and provide the scientific basis for future TSX-based contributions.
Final ReportPlease see the 9-page paper submitted to the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2017, attached to this entry.

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