Pioneering landslide sensor – get involved in commercialising this technology

Welcome to the Slope ALARMS web site. We are actively seeking partners that are interested in helping us commercialise Slope ALARMS through licensing. After several years of carrying out field trials of Slope ALARMS on active landslides we have proven that the technology works. It can provide an early warning of failure because it is sensitive to small displacement rates that occur prior to larger disruptive slope movements and it can provide continuous information on the rates of slope displacements. We have extensive field data comparing behaviour of Slope ALARMS with both manually read and in-place inclinometers.

Please contact Professor Neil Dixon if you would like to discuss the opportunities available and to find out more about Slope ALARMS.

Here you can find information about the new type of sensor system for detecting landslides that has been developed by experts at Loughborough University in collaboration with the British Geological Survey. This site explains how the system works, it contains information on the research conducted at Loughborough University to develop the sensor and introduces case studies that demonstrate applications. Slope ALARMS is currently being used at four sites in the UK and at sites in Italy, Canada and Austria.

The video below was made by the Discovery Channel Daily Planet programme and was broadcast on 22nd April 2014 in Canada. It follows researchers from Loughborough University as they visit landslide monitoring sites in the UK, it explains how Slope ALARMS works and discusses potential advantages of the system over currently used techniques.

Thought to be the first system of its kind in the world, Slope ALARMS patented technology works by measuring and analysing the acoustic emission behaviour of soil and rock to establish when a landslide is imminent so that preventative action can be taken. Noise created by movement under the surface builds to a crescendo as the slope becomes unstable. Gauging the increased rate of generated acoustic emission enables warning of catastrophic slope collapse to be made. The detection system consists of one or more sensors installed across the slope that presents a risk of collapse. The sensors record the acoustic activity of the soil and rock as it deforms. Monitoring detects only high frequency sound so that background noise is not considered and hence false alarms are avoided.

Acoustic emission rates, created by inter-particle friction in soil and crack propagation and displacement on discontinuities in rock, are proportional to rates of movement and so increased acoustic emissions mean a slope is closer to failure. Once a certain emission rate is recorded, the system can send a warning, via a text message, to the authorities responsible for safety in the area. As well as the life-saving implications for countries prone to disastrous landslides, the technique can also be used in monitoring the condition of potentially unstable slopes built to support transport infrastructure.

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