Intelligent geotextiles: wired sensor networks underground

 Articles Docs Files Geodetect

BLDBLOG surveys fascinating "intelligent geotextiles," essentially buried wire webs that act as sensor networks to monitor the landscape above. They remind me a bit of those invisible fences suburbanites use to keep their dogs in the yard. From BLDBLOG:

 Wp-Content Uploads 2012 01 Tencate Corporate Images Txtures 1-Geodetect-018 The Dutch engineering firm TenCate offers a product called the GeoDetect system. It is "the first sensor enabled geotextile on the market to provide soil reinforcement, structural health monitoring and an early warning system into one package."

It is a computational fabric that structurally strengthens and physically monitors the landscapes it is buried within.

"Our 'intelligent geotextile,'" the company points out, "is the first system designed specifically for geotechnical applications and offers a technical solution for monitoring geo-structures for changes in strain, temperature or the combination of the two." As such, it "incorporates a geocomposite fabric, fiber optics, instrumentation equipment and software to provide a innovative solution for the multi-functional requirements of a geotechnical application" (for example, stabilizing landfills and levees).