G2000 Series

Ground Based Synthetic Aperture Radar (GBSAR)

Hazards due to ground movements (such as landslides, terrain subsidence, glaciers, etc.) and instability in man-made structures (such as bridges, towers, dams, etc.) can lead to considerable human and economic losses. Conventionally, the monitoring of ground movements uses geodetic methods such as total stations, leveling and GPS, which are very limited to observations at distinct points. Laser scanning (LIDAR) and photogrammetric techniques can cover wider areas but they can only be applied during daytime and under good weather conditions.

In Malaysia, landslides occur regularly along hillsides and steep slopes. There are several major disastrous landslide events happened in the past, such as landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa, Ulu Klang in 1993, which caused 12-storey Highland Tower to collapse and 48 people were killed; landslide at FELCRA Semungkis, Hulu Langat in 2011 (16 people were killed); and landslide at KL-Karak Highway in 2015. Malaysian Public Works Department (or Jabatan Kerja Raya, JKR) has identified 21,000 landslide-prone areas throughout the country, out of which 16,000 or 76% are in peninsular Malaysia while about 3,000 are in Sabah and 2,000 in Sarawak. Every year, Malaysia government has spent huge amount of money in monitoring and maintaining landslide-prone areas.

Riding on rich experiences in radar technology research, iRadar has invested onto development of Ground Based Synthetic Aperture Radar (GBSAR). The general usage of the product is to detect sub-mm movement on natural and synthetic objects. The high-resolution change detection is beneficial to natural disaster monitoring activities, such as landslides, volcano, glacier ice, earthquake and more. Early movement detection warning could save thousands of lives! Besides, the system can also be used to monitor any structure that is sensitive to movement, such as dams, bridges, mining areas, commercial tall buildings, power line and transmission towers. The "Ground-Based Surface Deformation Monitoring Radar" (or GBSAR) developed by iRadar is aimed to solve the challenges by providing a ground-based, highly compact radar for monitoring of earth terrain and man-made structural movements.

Currently, the iRadar G2000 GBSAR developed by iRadar has been deployed in Gunung Pass, Cameron Highland, an area that is prone to landslide. Besides, several case studies have been conducted in Taiwan to perform scanning on various test sites such as Miaoli Huoyanshan, Taoyuan MRT Station, New North City Wulai, and ChaoJing Park.

The GBSAR is an active microwave system i.e. it transmits its own microwave signals and receives the return echoes from the target of interest. Thus, it can operate day and night. Besides, it can operate in all weather conditions such as during raining season. This feature is very useful since Malaysia is located at Tropical region and some areas are always invisible to optical or LIDAR instruments. With the high precision and high-speed motorized platform, the scanning process can be completed within a minute, which is very fast compare to other existing methods such as LIDAR. As a result, the GBSAR is particularly useful for surface deformation monitoring in real-time.

The iRadar G2000 GBSAR developed by iRadar is highly portable, easy to deploy and can provide continuous monitoring under all weather conditions. This radar system is very suitable for disaster monitoring, risk assessment as well as for the establishment of early warning framework for hazard management. Similar ground-based radar system has been deployed in Europe for avalanche detection and potential landslide in mining area. It can be applied in various areas to monitor the surface deformation of earth environments (such as landslides, terrain subsidence, falling rocks, glaciers, avalanches, volcanoes, etc.) as well as man-made structures (such as bridges, buildings, towers, dams, roads, etc.). However, this solution is still relatively new and not commonly used in Asia especially South East Asia due to the fact that it is expensive and difficult to deploy at remote sites.

Description of Technology and Novelty
Radar is a system capable of detecting the presence, direction, distance and speed of objects. It works by sending out pulses of high frequency electromagnetic waves, and detecting the reflected signals from the target of interest. Radar is an active sensor that can penetrate through cloud and rain, thus working in all weather conditions, day and night. In the past, radar technology was mainly used in military applications. However, this technology has been widely used nowadays in civilian applications, such as obstacle avoidance, traffic monitoring, and smart city surveillance.

The key enabling technology used in this product is called the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is an advanced high-resolution imaging system that typically installed on an airborne or a spaceborne platform. It is an important tool for environmental monitoring such as sea ice monitoring, deforestation monitoring, oil spills or pollution monitoring, crops monitoring, terrain mapping and more.

Interferometric SAR (InSAR) is a powerful remote sensing technique that developed on top of the SAR technology. It enables highly accurate measurements of important geophysical parameters such as surface topography, ground deformation and subsidence. The key idea of InSAR is to compare SAR images that have been taken from the same scene but at different time. By comparing the phase difference between the two SAR images, it is possible to determine the displacement between each pixel of the SAR images, up to the resolution of sub-millimetres (depending on the operating wavelength).

Therefore, InSAR can be used to detect subtle changes or displacements of earth environments at far distance. However, the existing InSAR solutions (typically mounted on aircrafts or satellites) are expensive, bulky and not feasible for small-scale deployment.
Quick Setup. All Weather.
Ground-based Synthetic Aperture Radar
Setup Of The iRadar G2000 GBSAR Product For Disaster Monitoring
Figure below illustrates a typical setup of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR product for disaster monitoring. The iRadar G2000 GBSAR will be installed at a remote distance from the potential hazardous area. The GBSAR will perform periodic monitoring at a pre-defined interval (typically 1-2 scans per hour). The embedded SAR processor will generate a coherent image of the scene with high precision change detection capability. The image will then be sent to a data centre via wireless link. Further analysis and risk assessment will be conducted at the data centre. In the event a potential hazard has been detected, early warning will be triggered to alert people for evacuation.

Similar setup can be installed in various potential hazardous areas to monitor ground movements (such as landslides, terrain subsidence, glaciers, etc.) and instability in man-made structures (such as bridges, towers, buildings, dams, etc.), which can form a nation-wide early warning network to save lives and prevent considerable economic losses.

Figure 1: A Typical iRadar G2000 GBSAR Setup and Operation

Standards, Certification & Regulatory Compliance
The iRadar G2000 GBSAR system is designed to comply with EMC directive (ETSI-TR-102-522: Electromagnetic compatibility and radio spectrum matters; Short range devices; Equipment for detecting movement; Radio equipment operating in the range 17.1 GHz to 17.3 GHz) and IP66 standard (International Protection Marking, IEC 60529). Compliance testing for both standards have been conducted at SIRIM, and both certifications were granted.

Description of the Product
The ground-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) capable of generating high-resolution change detection map consists of 3 major subsystems: (i) RF and Antenna Subsystem, (ii) Embedded Radar Processor Subsystem, and (iii) High Precision Linear Scanner. The core technology used includes microwave remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) design, interferometric SAR processing, radio frequency (RF) circuit design, and embedded system design. The RF and antenna subsystem is installed on a motorized platform to provide continuous scanning of the area of interest. The output (i.e. processed image) will be sent to a cloud-based data center through wireless means. For remote area where there is no access to main power supply, a smart-solar power management system will be integrated into the iRadar G2000 GBSAR solution.

The detail specification of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR system is listed in Table 1. The functional block diagram of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR system is shown in Figure 2 (a). It consists of a linear scanning platform, RF module, antenna system, embedded SAR processor and some supporting submodule. RF module, antenna system, and embedded SAR processor form the basic components of SAR system whereas the linear scanning platform will act as the moving platform of the SAR system. Figure 2 (b) illustrate the working principle of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR. It is similar to normal strip map SAR configuration but the platform is ground based. The antenna will move along the linear scanning platform in order to complete the whole synthetic length.

Table 1: System parameter of iRadar G2000 GBSAR
Design Parameter Design Value
Operating Frequency 17.2 GHZ
Bandwidth* 200 MHz - 1 GHz
Waveform FMCW/Step Frequency
Polarization single
Transmit Power 1 W
Antenna Gain 16 dBi
3dB beamwidth 20° (azimuth), 20° (elevation)
Synthetic Length 1.5 m
Range Resolution** 0.15 m - 0.75 m
Azimuth Resolution 5.8 mrad
Sensing Distance 500m - 2000 m
* Bandwidth can be customised based on client requirements.
** Range resolution will be affected by bandwidth selection.

Functional block diagram of iRadar G2000 GBSAR
Operation principle of iRadar G2000 GBSAR
Figure 2: a & b
For the purpose of to acquire more stable and fine resolution linear movement, a high-precision linear scanning platform has been developed. It consists of a scanning rail of 1.5 meter length. For each of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR acquisition, the antenna will move along the rail and a total range of 150 sample points of 10 mm space intervals along the azimuthal direction will be captured. The actual hardware implementation is shown in Figure 3. The total weight of the whole linear scanning platform is about 30kg.
Figure 3: iRadar G2000 GBSAR System
Field Measurement
Preliminary testing of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR have been conducted in Cameron Highland, Malaysia in order to verify the performance of the iRadar G2000 GBSAR and the capability of detecting landslide. Figure 4 (a) and (b) show the housing built by JKR for iRadar G2000 GBSAR testing and GBSAR installed in JKR housing respectively. The photo of the observation are is shown in Figure 4 (c) and external artificial target (trihedral) is shown in Figure 4 (d). The trihedral is used to confirm the correct detection of the test site.

Housing Built by JKR for iRadar G2000 GBSAR testing
GBSAR installed in JKR Housing
Field Measurement Test Site at Cameron Highland, Malaysia
Trihedral Corner Reflector as external target
Figure 4: a, b, c & d
Two trihedral have been used in the experiment. The distance from iRadar G2000 GBSAR to two trihedral are about 1244m and 1259m respectively measured from the JKR housing. The SAR images were generated and the displacement of the trihedral is extracted from the phase change of the target. Figure 5 shows the SAR image generated with marker indicates the location of the one of the corner reflector with is coincide with the measurement setup describe about.
Figure 5: SAR images generated with highlight pf the targets
Besides, the trihedral corner reflector is adjusted with 0.5mm step to simulate the changes of the terrain. A series of scanning was performed with different step size of trihedral. Figure 6 shows the measurement results whereby the y-axis is the measured displacement based on the phase change of the received signal and x-axis corresponded to the displacement position of the trihedral in which each position is equivalent to 0.5mm of the changes.
Figure 6: Measured displacement of 0.5mm per step

Figure below shows the comparison between the SAR image generated and the google map image (optical). Both show the similar terrain features in the images.
Figure 7: SAR image (left) generated compares to Google map image (right)

Field Measurement at Taiwan
A series of field tests have been conducted in Taiwan to verify the performance of iRadar G2000 GBSAR with variety of scene such as mountain, water dam, village exposed to landslide hazard, train station etc. Figure below shows the antenna of GBSAR is pointed toward the scaning area i.e. the Fire Hill.

Figure 8: iRadar G2000 GBSAR scanning the area of 火炎山(Fire Hill Test Site), Taiwan

Some of the test sites with SAR images generated are shown as below:

(a) MeiHua School, Taiwan
3D optical map
SAR image overlay with optical map
Figure 9
(b) Fire Hill, Taiwan
SAR image overlay with google map image
photo of observation area i.e Fire Hill
Figure 10
(c)潮境中心 Chaojinggongzuo Station (KeeLong Test Site)
SAR images generated via different pointing angle increased the area of observation
SAR images overlay with google map image
Figure 11
(d) 石門水庫大壩 Simon Water Dam
SAR image overlay with google map image
photo of observation area i.e Simon Water Dam
Figure 12
(e) Wu Lai
SAR image overlay with google map image
photo of observation area i.e Wulai Village
Figure 13
(f) 青埔捷運棒球場站 CP LRT Station
photo of observation area i.e LRT Station
SAR image overlay with google map image
Figure 14
For the LRT station, time series of observation have been continuously performed via iRadar G2000 GBSAR. Figure 12 shows two different conditions of the LRT station i.e. without train and with train moving on the track. When the train is travelled into the station and depart from the station, the movement cause vibration at the structure of LRT station. The vibration of the LRT station were capture by GBSAR and the amplitude of vibration can be calculated. Figure 13 shows the displacement of various observation point at the iRadar G2000 GBSAR images. T1 waveform denoted the points on the ground but T2 represented the vibration of the LRT building due to the train travelling.

T1: LRT station without train
T2: LRT station with train travelling on the track
Figure 15: Displacement of Target in Time series
Market Analysis

Every year, over one million people are exposed to weather-related landslide hazards around the world. Due to the recent climate change, it is likely that the decrease of permafrost areas, changes in precipitation patterns and increase of extreme weather events will influence the weather-related mass movement activities. In Malaysia, for example, the Malaysian Public Works Department (PWD) has identified 21,000 landslide-prone areas throughout the country, out of which 16,000 or 76% are in peninsular Malaysia while about 3,000 are in Sabah and 2,000 in Sarawak (The Star, Feb 4, 2013). Continuous monitoring of such regions can give insight into mechanisms and triggers of hazardous events.

Besides, the advancement in civil engineering, rock mechanics, geological sciences and a better understanding of materials have made it possible to construct larger and higher man-made structures (i.e. buildings, towers, bridges, dams) at more and more challenging sites (i.e. areas that are exposed to earthquakes, typhoon, floods, landslides).

For example, there are more than 120 cities in the world with over 100 high-rise buildings (a high-rise is defined as a structure at least 35 m or 12 stories tall); there are about 48,000 dams over 15 m high worldwide (Global Environment: Water, Air and Geochemical Cycles by Elizabeth Kay Berner and Robert A. Berner, 2nd Ed. 2012); and there are about 250 long bridges (more than 2 km long) and thousands of notable bridges constructed worldwide.

The assumptions made in the civil structural design may not be able to completely model unpredictable events such as typhoon, heavy rainfalls, floods, landslides, terrain subsidence, earthquakes, and glacier avalanche. In some cases, it may lead to catastrophic failures. For example, it is reported that the China Banqiao dam's failure has killed an estimated 171,000 people in 1975. Other deadliest accidental structural failures in modern human history include the collapse of an eight-story commercial building (Rana Plaza) in Bangladesh, 2013 (killed 1,100+), the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store in South Korea, 1995 (killed 500+), the collapse of Hintze Ribeiro Bridge in Portugal, 2001 (killed 59), and the collapse of the Hyatt Regency hotel walkway in Kanasa City of US, 1981 (killed 114 people).

As compared to the existing deformation monitoring techniques (such as geotechnical and geodetic techniques), the GBSAR system has the following obvious advantages:

High resolution
Real-time data processing
Easy installation
High reliability
Remote measurement
Provision of displacement information related to all the illuminated area with high-resolution change detection image.

In viewing of these, the GBSAR has a huge market potential for periodical monitoring of earth terrain and structural health, allowing a hazard-management framework to be implemented, minimizing loss of life and property, as well as to provide useful data for preventive assessment.

Potential Major Customers
The targeted market for GBSAR can be divided into 2 categories, namely government and private sectors. The applications in government sector would be focusing on monitoring disaster activities, while private sector is on maintaining the safety of synthetic objects, such as high-rise buildings, water reservoirs, dams, and bridges.

Some of the potential customers are listed below:

Local governments (city councils)
Geotechnical department
Electricity utility companies
Service companies who provide builders with static and dynamic load tests of structures
Architects involved in renovation works
Building surveyors
Civil Engineering University Departments
Public agencies with the task of infrastructures management
Civil Engineering companies
Building companies
Research Institutes

Market Size, Segmentation and Trends
Ground-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (GBSAR) is a relatively new technique that can serve market needs in the following market segments:
Earth terrain monitoring
Man-made structure monitoring

For Earth terrain monitoring applications, iRadar G2000 GBSAR system can be used for:

Landslides monitoring
Volcano movement detection
Land subsidence detection
Soil erosion detection
As for man-made structure monitoring applications, iRadar G2000 GBSAR system can be used for:
Static monitoring
  › Static test
  › Time-dependent deformation monitoring
  › Structural displacement during construction work
Dynamic monitoring
  › Resonance frequency detection
  › Vibration mode detection
The coverage area for a GBSAR system is far more impressive as compared to geotechnical techniques, which basically install sensors at discrete area of interests.
Sub-mm Change
Time series synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images are used to detect surface deformation. This technique can achieve sub-millimeter changes in deformation over days to years.
Early Detection
Geo-hazards due to ground movements can lead to considerable human and economic losses. Early detection of landslide symptoms is crucial for risk assessment and hazard management.
Remote Sensing Services - How It Works

Tell us Your Needs by submitting a Request Form. We will contact you A.S.A.P.
Our experienced staff will contact you to understand your needs, evaluate the sites, and propose a suitable mission plan and service package.
Mission Planning and Sensor Deployment.
We will deploy sensing system on your sites to monitor the target of interest. Depending on the mission objective, the monitoring interval could be on 24/7, weekly, or monthly basis.
Upload Data to Secure Cloud Server.
The sensing data will be instantly uploaded to the secured cloud server. We will process the data, analyze results and generate report that suits your needs.
Receive the Processed Data and Analysis Report through Online Client Portal.
You can retrieve the processed data and analysis report anytime, anywhere, through our online client portal. We will also provide consultancy services for result interpretation and further action planning.
Data Processing Our data processing capabilities are fast and efficient, using state-of-the-art cloud computing, cutting-edge software, and our proprietary algorithms. Your information is kept highly confidential in a secure, fire-walled storage environment, and will never sold or shared with anyone or any entity.

Standard Data Type:
• Temporal Change Detection Map
• Processed SAR Image
• Contour Extraction
• Digital Surface Model (DSM)
• Risk Rating
• and more
Sub-mm Change Detection Capability
Depending on the requirements of your mission, we can provide fine resolution sensing tools that can achieve up to sub-mm resolution at a sensing distance of more than 1 km away.

The applications include remote monitoring of landslide-prone areas, terrain subsidence, bridges, high-rise buildings, and transmission towers.
Patented Design for Surface Deformation Monitoring!
1-axis Surface Deformation Monitoring Radar Light weight, portable, and affordable GBSAR that can achieve sub-millimeter changes over spans of days to years. Best suited for advanced SAR research, development and quick deployment.

3-axis Surface Deformation Monitoring Radar All weather GBSAR suitable for geophysical monitoring of landslides, terrain subsidence, falling rocks, glaciers, and volcanoes, as well structural monitoring of bridges, buildings, towers, dams and roads./span>
Case Study 1
GBSAR for Landslide Monitoring
Geo-hazards due to ground movements such as landslides and terrain subsidence can lead to considerable human and economic losses. Early detection of landslide symptoms is very crucial for risk assessment and hazard management. We provide a full range of sensing solution that can perform continuous monitoring of a wide area under all weather conditions. The authority can now react more quickly and more precisely than they can using other conventional methods.

Benefits of using GBSAR for Landslide Monitoring:
Greater Precision : GBSAR can provide high resolution (sub-mm) change detection at remote distance of more than 1 km.
Timely and All Weather Monitoring : GBSAR can provide real-time monitoring of landslide-prone areas under all weather conditions.
Safer : GBSAR can operate 24/7 autonomously and remotely, without putting any personnel at risk.
Wider Area of Coverage : Traditional ground-truth measurement methods can only cover several discrete points within the area of interest. Now, the entire area can be monitored using GBSAR.
Earlier Detection : By comparing the temporal changes of the data, subtle ground movements can be detected at earlier stage. Preventive actions can be carried out to minimize the risk of landslides and lost of lives.
Depending on your mission objective, we can configure our sensing system to suit your specific requirements. High resolution 2D imagery that are essential for risk assessment and landslide study can readily be acquired. It is an efficient way to provide continuous monitoring of unstable hillside areas, construction sites, and open-pit mines.
Monitoring of Unstable Hillsides
Due to intense urban development, more and more buildings, roads and other facilities are developed in close proximity to steep hillsides. These hillside areas may be susceptible to landsliding during periods of high seasonal rainfall, which could be a serious hazard if not attended to. GBSAR can provide continuous monitoring of the hillsides as part of the landslide prevention and mitigation programme.
Monitoring of Construction Sites
With the growing demand for land to meet housing needs and other purposes, there is a trend to locate developments closer to areas of steep terrains with a consequent increase in landslide risk. We provide real-time monitoring on natural terrains and man-made slopes as part of the safety measures for the construction sites.
Monitoring of Open-Pit Mines
Mining is always threatened by slope instability and landslide hazards. Slope monitoring using GBSAR forms an important element of slope management on open-pit mines. It provides timely information for assessing the risk of the slop design and detecting unstable ground movements.
Case Study 2
GBSAR for Structural Health Inspection
Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is an important element for sustainable management of public infrastructures such as bridges, buildings, dams, roadways, and transmission towers. GBSAR can be applied in SHM system to detect the presence of damages or instabilities of any engineering structures, providing the essential information that help the authorities to accurately monitor the general health conditions of the infrastructures.

Benefits of GBSAR for Structural Health Inspection:
Greater Sensitivity : GBSAR can provide highly sensitive change detection in sub-mm range.
Timely and Frequent Monitoring : GBSAR can provide real-time and continuous monitoring of engineering structures.
All weather conditions : GBSAR can operate 24/7 autonomously and remotely, under all weather conditions.
Wider Area of Coverage : Traditional structural inspection methods can only cover several discrete points of the structure. Now, the entire structure can be monitored using GBSAR.
Earlier Detection : By comparing the temporal changes of the data, structural instability can be detected, identified and analyzed. Preventive actions can be carried out to minimize the risk of collapse.
Depending on your mission objective, we can configure our sensing system to suit your specific requirements. High resolution temporal data that are essential for structural health analysis and risk assessment can readily be acquired. It is an efficient way to provide continuous monitoring of structural stability of bridges, buildings, roads, dams, transmission towers and more.
Inspection of Bridges and Roadways
It is of great important for the nation to continuously monitor the conditions of public infrastructures such as bridges, highways and airport runways. We provide periodic inspection services on bridges and roadways as part of the safety measures for public infrastructures.
Inspection of Transmission Towers
Transmission towers are usually located at remote areas that are covered by hilly topography. Landslide is a major threat which may cause failure to the tower structure and subsequently affect the electricity supply. We provide a complete setup to remotely monitor the towers and slopes without putting any personnel at risk.
Inspection of Dams
Regular maintenance and thorough inspection must be carried throughout the lifetime of a dam. GBSAR is an effective remote sensing system that can provide early detection of deficiencies of the dam structure and prevention of failure.
Want to learn more about GBSAR? Try out our Training Kits!
Basic Radar Training Kit serves as a Ready-to-Teach courseware targeting undergraduates. It provides a comprehensive overview of radar principles and practical hands-on experiment on CW, Doppler, FMCW, and linear chirp pulsed radars.
Imaging Radar Training Kit serves as a Ready-to-Teach courseware targeting undergraduates and post-graduates. It provides a comprehensive overview of imaging concepts and practical hands-on experiment on RAR, SAR, InSAR and more.
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