ASTERRA Releases EarthWorks Rail, Providing Soil Moisture Assessments to the Railroad Industry

by | Oct 8, 2021

ASTERRA recently announced the release of EarthWorks Rail, the second product in the EarthWorks product line. With this release, the same award-winning satellite technology used to locate underground water leaks can now be applied to assess underground soil moisture conditions across vast sections of track and rail systems of up to 325,000 hectares at a time, with consistent temporal coverage for frequent monitoring.

This technology provides rail system engineers, operators, and rail service teams something they never had before- a tool to see instantly and consistently areas of concern for further investigation, preventing failures before they happen, states Eddy Segal, VP of Business Development at ASTERRA.

ASTERRA uses L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from satellites such as JAXA's ALOS-2, amongst others, to image a large area covering the rail tracks. SAR can image day or night, through ground, macadam and treetops, and through clouds, allowing coverage worldwide during any season or weather condition. Following the imaging, the data is processed through patented algorithms, filtering out areas with high soil moisture, which is provided the customer as a geographic information system (GIS) dataset.

Over the past five years, ASTERRA became an industry leader, known for their Recover leak detection for utility drinking water pipes, saving water, and improving water scarcity around the world. This technology won the 2021 American Water Works Association Innovation Award. Building on the positive impact on sustaining the earth's natural resources and a compelling return on investment, ASTERRA developed EarthWorks, expanding the scope of the technology to benefit the infrastructure industry.

EarthWorks Rail is used to locate and evaluate underground moisture beneath the railbed and within the rail system rights-of-way. Potential and likely failure locations are mapped out so that they can mitigate problems before more severe and expensive damage occurs. This product line includes EarthWorks Property, which is used to locate and evaluate underground moisture beneath parking lots, roadways, sidewalks, and other paved surfaces. Together they provide a comprehensive solution for the maintenance of infrastructure and surrounding areas.

ASTERRA is a division of Utilis that provides data-driven solutions for water utilities, government agencies, and the greater infrastructure industry. ASTERRA products use synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from satellites and turn it into large-scale decision support tools. The company's proprietary algorithms and highly educated scientists and engineers are the key to their mission, to deliver actionable intelligence to advance Earth's resource resilience. Since 2016, Utilis technology has resulted in saving more than 9000 million gallons of potable water and 22,000 MWH of energy per year, in support of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Utilis ASTERRA division is headquartered in Israel with offices in the United States and United Kingdom. Their innovative data solutions are used in multiple verticals around the globe. For more information on ASTERRA and to learn more about their technology visit


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