Metasensing in Tunnels Monitoring: The Encardio Rite Edge

In the realm of modern infrastructure development, tunnel construction represents one of the most challenging and technically demanding tasks. Encardio Rite, a global leader in geotechnical, structural, and environmental monitoring, stands at the forefront of this challenge, offering cutting-edge Metasensing solutions tailored for tunneling projects. This article delves into how Encardio Rite's expertise and advanced technologies ensure the safety, efficiency, and success of tunnel constructions across the globe.


Innovative Technologies for Complex Environments


Tunnel construction, whether for transportation, water management, or urban development, involves navigating complex geological conditions and ensuring structural integrity in challenging environments. Encardio Rite addresses these challenges head-on with its innovative monitoring solutions. Utilizing the latest sensor technology, Internet of Things (IoT) systems, remote sensing capabilities, and our Infrastructure Data Intelligence Platform, Proqio, we provide real-time data crucial for decision-making and risk management in tunnel construction.


Layered Sensing: The Foundation of Tunnel Systems

The monitoring process utilizes a layered sensing approach, incorporating advanced remote sensing technologies, to understand urban infrastructure challenges and risks. Using various survey techniques like drones, Lidar, and manual surveys, we gain valuable insights for effective project planning and execution.

  • Comprehensive On-Site Services & Support: Encardio Rite ensures seamless operation with its global team of engineers from installation to after-sales.
  • Remote Sensing: The company employs both passive and active sensors for comprehensive data collection.
  • Integration of Ground Sensors with Satellite Data: enhances predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring.
  • Surveying and 3D Modelling: Utilizing UAV, LiDAR, Radar, and GNSS/GPS technologies for precise data collection.
  • Sensors and IoT Solutions: Encardio Rite offers a range of sensors and IoT solutions, including RF LoRa nodes and gateways, for versatile data logging.


Read more: Tunnel Monitoring: Advanced Survey and Monitoring Sensors


Real-Time Monitoring: The Key to Success


The crux of success in tunnel monitoring lies in its ability to provide comprehensive real-time data. From ground displacement sensors to piezometers and strain gauges, each device plays a pivotal role in detecting potential hazards and ensuring structural stability. Integrating these devices into a unified monitoring system allows project managers to receive instant alerts and make timely decisions, significantly reducing the risk of accidents and delays.


Real-time Structural Tracking


In the dynamic urban environment, real-time tracking of structural movements is essential. We employ GNSS, Wireless IoT systems, and fiber optics technologies to achieve high-precision monitoring, ensuring the stability and accuracy of metro and rail infrastructures. This real-time tracking is critical in ensuring these projects’ overall safety and success.


Advanced Dataloggers and Communication Systems


To meet the demanding environments of tunnel monitoring, we have developed self-manufactured dataloggers compatible with GSM, Ethernet, and RF/Lora. These robust systems ensure seamless data flow and uninterrupted communication, providing a reliable backbone for effective project management.


Robust Geotechnical Instruments


Our portfolio of electron beam welded geotechnical instruments, including sensors like piezometers, tilt meters, and crack meters, play a crucial role in assessing the health of tunnels. These instruments provide vital data for timely interventions, enhancing the safety and longevity of a tunnel.


Global Presence and Proqio Integration


With installation capabilities and turnkey project management across various regions, our global approach is exemplified by Proqio. Proqio, our infrastructure data intelligence platform, is the hub for project monitoring. It seamlessly integrates data from any sensor project schedule, providing digital twins, user-friendly UI/UX, custom dashboards, and automatic reporting, allowing for efficient and effective project management on a global scale. 


Read more: The Future of Infrastructure Safety: Data Logging and Intelligence


Surveying Technologies for Safe Tunnel Construction:


Encardio Rite employs a range of advanced surveying technologies for tunnel construction projects, ensuring safety, efficiency, and success. The technologies include Automatic Total Stations, TBM Monitoring, and Laser Scanning, each playing a crucial role in different aspects of tunnel monitoring.


(a) Automatic Total Stations (ATS):

  • Functionality: Automatic Total Stations are used for precise surveying and alignment in tunnel construction. They are essential for setting out tunnel axes, monitoring deformation, and ensuring the correct geometry during construction.
  • Application in Tunnels: In tunnel construction, ATS can be used to measure displacement and deformation of the tunnel lining and surrounding structures. This is crucial for identifying potential structural issues or deviations from the planned alignment.
  • Benefits: The key benefits include high precision, real-time data collection, and the ability to operate in challenging environments. ATS systems are also instrumental in reducing manual errors and increasing efficiency in survey processes.


(b) TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) Monitoring:

  • Functionality: TBM Monitoring involves tracking the performance and progress of Tunnel Boring Machines. It includes monitoring the cutter head position, orientation, and machine parameters like torque and thrust.
  • Application in Tunnels: This technology is crucial for understanding the behavior of the TBM during excavation. It helps make informed decisions about machine operation, optimize tunneling speed, and ensure the safety of the construction process.
  • Benefits: The primary advantages include enhanced safety, improved efficiency of tunnel boring operations, and the ability to make adjustments in real-time to mitigate risks associated with different geological conditions.

(c) Laser Scanning:

  • Functionality: Laser scanning, or LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), is used for high-resolution mapping and 3D modeling of tunnel surfaces and surrounding areas.
  • Application in Tunnels: This technology is employed for detailed geological mapping, assessing the condition of the tunnel lining, and detecting changes in the tunnel geometry over time.
  • Benefits: Laser scanning provides highly accurate and detailed 3D data, enabling comprehensive analysis of the tunnel structure. It's particularly useful in identifying potential problem areas and planning maintenance or repair work.


Integration with Metasensing Solutions


Encardio Rite integrates these technologies with its Metasensing solutions, enhancing the monitoring capabilities in tunnel construction. Incorporating IoT systems and data intelligence platforms like Proqio allows for the seamless aggregation and analysis of data from these diverse survey technologies.


Case Studies: A Testament to Global Expertise


1. S7 Expressway & Tunnel, Poland:


  • Project Description: The S7 Expressway, known in Polish as Droga ekspresowa S7, is a significant road infrastructure project in Poland. Planned to stretch from Gdańsk on the Baltic coast through major cities, including Warsaw, Kielce, and Kraków, it ends near Rabka at the Slovakian border. The expressway features two lanes and an emergency lane on either side, with certain uphill sections having three lanes. A notable feature of this project is a 2 km-long tunnel.
  • Encardio Rite's Role: Encardio Rite, through its regional marketing associate, supplied essential geotechnical instruments for the construction of the Kraków-Rabka Zdrój and Naprawa-Skomielna Biała sections, including the tunnel. The equipment provided included nearly 60 anchor bolt load cells, inclinometers, and piezometers, complemented with portable smart readout units.
  • Outcome: The integration of Encardio Rite's geotechnical instruments was pivotal in ensuring structural integrity and safety during the construction of the expressway and tunnel. Their advanced monitoring technology facilitated precise data collection and risk assessment, contributing to the successful and secure completion of these critical sections of the S7 Expressway.


2. Brenner Base Tunnel, Europe:


  • Project Description: The Brenner Base Tunnel is an engineering marvel, representing a nearly horizontal railway tunnel with two parallel tubes. Spanning 55 km, it connects the railway stations of Innsbruck in Austria and Fortezza in Italy. The tunnel, combined with the South Innsbruck underground by-pass, forms the world’s longest underground railway system, totaling 64 km.
  • Encardio Rite's Role: Encardio Rite was tasked with the critical responsibility of monitoring and instrumenting the Brenner Base Tunnel. This role was crucial in managing the complexities associated with constructing one of the world's longest underground railway systems.
  • Outcome: Encardio Rite’s expertise in tunnel monitoring and instrumentation significantly contributed to the safe and efficient construction of the Brenner Base Tunnel. The company’s role was instrumental in ensuring that the tunnel's construction met the highest standards of safety and precision, marking a significant achievement in modern engineering and infrastructure development.


3. Sheikh Zayed Street Tunnel, Abu Dhabi:


  • Project Description: The Sheikh Zayed Street Tunnel, formerly known as the Al Salam Street Tunnel, is a primary urban road system and the longest tunnel in the Middle East at 3.6 km. Opened in December 2012, it features four lanes in each direction, significantly reducing travel time between Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Mina Street.
  • Encardio Rite's Role: Encardio-rite Geosystems LCC UAE provided a comprehensive monitoring solution for the project. Their responsibilities included pre- and post-construction building condition surveys, supply and installation of geotechnical instruments, monitoring installed instruments, optical surveying, data processing, evaluation, and calibration of dataloggers and sensors.
  • Outcome: The involvement of Encardio-rite was crucial in safeguarding the construction and surrounding properties. Their monitoring reports, including interpretations of instrument data, helped manage factors affecting construction, such as dewatering and third-party activities, contributing significantly to the project's success.


4. Rohtang Pass Highway Tunnel, India:


  • Project Description: The Rohtang Pass Highway Tunnel, located in the Western Himalayas of Northern India, is a significant infrastructure project. At 8.8 km in length and an altitude of 3100 m, it is the longest road tunnel in India at high altitude. The tunnel addresses the challenge of heavy snowfall and blizzards in the Rohtang Pass area, providing an all-weather route to Leh and the Lahaul and Spiti valleys in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Encardio Rite's Role: Encardio-rite was awarded the instrumentation and monitoring sub-contract for the tunneling works. They provided a complete monitoring solution, including geotechnical monitoring during tunneling and continuous geophysical prediction using the Tunnel Seismic Prediction System (TSP). Their services included supplying and installing geotechnical instruments and regular reporting with evaluations and interpretations.
  • Outcome: Encardio-rite’s involvement was crucial in ensuring the safety of the construction and tunnel personnel. Their monitoring solutions and reports, including interpretation of instrument data, played a significant role in managing construction challenges such as rock movement and ensuring the tunnel’s structural integrity

Read more: The Future of Infrastructure Safety: Data Logging and Intelligence


Client-Centric Solutions for Diverse Needs


Understanding that each tunneling project has unique challenges, Encardio Rite adopts a client-centric approach. Tailoring our solutions to meet specific project requirements, the company ensures that every aspect of tunnel monitoring, from initial surveys to final construction, is covered with precision and care.


A Legacy of Innovation and Reliability


Encardio Rite's commitment to monitoring excellence in tunnels is underpinned by its legacy of innovation, reliability, and global expertise. With a track record of success in diverse projects and a continuous drive for technological advancement, the company stands as a beacon of excellence in tunnel monitoring.


In conclusion, Encardio Rite's comprehensive monitoring solutions represent the pinnacle of innovation and reliability in tunnel construction. Through its advanced technologies and client-centric approach, Encardio Rite plays a pivotal role in global tunnel infrastructure development.


Parameters monitored

Encardio Rite offers instrumentation to measure the following parameters:

  • Deformation, settlement 
  • Lateral movement, ground movements 
  • Tilt, inclination 
  • Displacement 
  • Stress, strain, pressure 
  • Load/force


Commonly used Products:


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