Hyperspectral remote sensing

The oportunity

In a ground-breaking project with Network Rail, we trialled new technology on helicopters to monitor the country’s rail and road networks.

With ‘eyes in the sky’, our teams explored how we could:

  • improve road and rail network management and maintenance
  • protect our workforce by reducing the amount of time spent on physical inspections.

The project

Using a helicopter equipped with the latest aerial remote sensing technology, we assessed the UK’s road and rail networks, which are often close to each other.

The Hyperspectral project

We trialled various technologies - hyperspectral remote sensor imaging, LiDAR and aerial photography - to assess their potential for monitoring the condition of assets such as manholes, pipes and drainage systems. These technologies could also be used to identify faults in our network so we can perform vital maintenance and renewal work more effectively.

The information gathered in this trial has helped us and Network Rail:

  • explore new ways to monitor and maintain our networks
  • understand potential infrastructure risks
  • improve road safety and plan maintenance.

Due to the successful joint working through this project, our organisations are now working on plans for further trials and collaborations.

‘Eyes in the sky’ can help us improve road and rail network management and maintenance

Innovation theme

Design, construction and maintenance
Energy and environment