Dutch innovation for measuring subsidence deployed worldwide

Specialists SODAQ and Richtlijn Geodesie start new company Basetime

HILVERSUM/HOUTEN, 20 September 2021 – The subsidence or displacement of roads, railroad tracks, dykes, quays, residential areas, buildings and other objects can now be measured and monitored automatically, remotely and completely CO2-neutral. The two Dutch companies SODAQ and Richtlijn Geodesie have founded the new company Basetime together in order to deploy this innovative technique worldwide.

Large construction and maritime companies such as Boskalis, Van Oord, Ballast Nedam and Heijmans have already signed up as customers. Basetime will also work for organisations such as ProRail, Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management), water boards and other contractors with large-scale projects. The expectation is that the technique will soon be used internationally, starting in Europe and the US. ‘Monitoring of subsidence and other deformations has been done in the same way for 30 to 40 years. We are going to improve the quality by a factor of 10, decrease costs and significantly increase safety and sustainability’, say initiators CCO Robbert Woltering of SODAQ and owner Martijn Arkesteijn of Richtlijn Geodesie. ‘We believe this is another one of those great Dutch inventions that will be deployed globally.’

The importance of measuring and monitoring the settlements and movements of buildings and objects has been demonstrated in recent years by the collapse of a parking garage at Eindhoven airport in the southern Netherlands, a shopping centre above a mine shaft in Kerkrade, in the south-eastern Netherlands, the Miami Surfside condo building, the subsidence around the North-South metro line in Amsterdam and above the gas fields in Groningen, in the northern Netherlands.

The first application of Basetime’s flagship commercial device, Locator One, is measuring the movement of settlement rods: the steel poles at newly built roads, dykes or residential areas, which currently still have to be inspected manually. A great many settlement rods have to be measured in these kinds of projects, sometimes thousands in one day. At Basetime this happens automatically, remotely and with the help of GPS, radar and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Richtlijn Geodesie specialises in the collection and analysis of surveying data and images, including in difficult to reach locations. In cooperation with SODAQ, the company has developed its own sensors that work via GPS and radar. Its specialised software and algorithms analyse the data, enabling it to quickly and reliably map, and even predict, settlements and other movements of infrastructure and objects.

SODAQ has been specialising in IoT solutions since 2013 and has built self-sufficient weather stations in Africa, among other things. Especially for Basetime, the company built a sensor box that is controlled via IoT and runs on solar panels without batteries: the world’s first motion detection sensor that is CO2-neutral when used. It automatically carries out precision measurements based on GPS and sends the data to the cloud, where they are processed.

This eliminates the need to check settlement rods manually, for example along busy motorways or other dangerous embankments. This saves manpower and costs and makes the measurements safer. The sensor boxes are zero-emission, battery-less and can be used over and over again, which greatly improves their sustainability. In addition, the accuracy, reliability and usefulness of the measurements increases.

The two companies spent three years developing this innovation. The name Basetime is a combination of the words baseline and time, the two factors necessary for reliable precision measurements. ‘The potential of this innovation is so great that we did not launch a joint service on the market, but rather set up a separate company for it’, Woltering and Arkesteijn say. ‘We are really going to shake up the world with this.’


Note to editors:

For more information, media can contact Martijn Arkesteijn, mobile: 06-30392900, email: Martijn.Arkesteijn@basetime.nl or Robbert Woltering, mobile: 06-51513434, email: Robbert.woltering@basetime.nl.

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