PRIME Wins Asset Condition Monitoring Category at the Highways UK Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge

25 November 2019

PRIME, the innovative new earthworks monitoring technology developed by The British Geological Survey (BGS) and delivered to market in partnership with SOCOTEC Monitoring, has been named the Asset Condition Monitoring category winner at this year’s Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge.

Run by Highways UK and Costain, and now in its fourth year, the Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge is an open innovation competition which recognises innovative ideas using intelligent infrastructure and associated transport technologies. The competition offers shortlisted organisations the opportunity to pitch their ideas to senior client organisations and industry experts.

Driven by the increasing number and severity of failures in flood defences, transportation and utilities earthworks, PRIME was developed as a solution to better manage earthworks assets. Combining state-of-the-art geophysical ground imaging technology with innovative data telemetry and web portal access, PRIME is the new generation of ‘smart’ earthworks monitoring system using diagnostic methods routinely used in medical physics.

The PRIME technology builds on Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), a geophysical imaging technique that is sensitive to compositional variations in the subsurface as well as changes in groundwater saturation and the presence of contaminants. PRIME can provide time-lapse volumetric information to reveal the internal composition and moisture driven changes within the asset. Combining this state-of-the-art technology with web portal access via SOCOTEC Monitoring’s Calyx™ Online Monitoring Software, enables the PRIME system to deliver reliable decision-support information directly to asset owners.

Uniquely, a single PRIME instrument enables the internal condition of long linear geotechnical assets - such as embankments and cuttings - to be remotely monitored in near real time using a non-invasive technique. This reduces the need for costly or dangerous drilling and excavations, as well as minimising the requirement for engineers to attend site, making PRIME a very cost-effective monitoring system. Asset owners also gain better understanding about the internal physical structure and behaviour of their assets, which enables early intervention and mitigation measures to be implemented before an asset deteriorates.

Speaking about PRIME winning, Nick Slater – Monitoring Services Director at SOCOTEC Monitoring – comments: “Having been an active member of the Steering Group which has helped to shape the PRIME technology, it’s great to see PRIME win the Asset Condition Monitoring category at this year’s Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge. PRIME represents a real step-change in the practice of proactive asset management. The vision for its development was to create a low-cost, cutting-edge geophysical ground imaging technology which is relevant, useful and available to the geotechnical community. I’m pleased to say that the BGS has achieved this and this accolade is excellent recognition of this.”

For more information about PRIME and earthworks monitoring please get in touch.