Graubünden is the largest canton in Switzerland in terms of area. For infrastructure operators, it was time-consuming to monitor the condition of protective structures such as rockfall barriers, debris flow barriers or avalanche protection fences.
The Rhaetian Railway RhB and those responsible in the Canton of the Grisons have identical needs: To know their installations’ state and safety status.
Within the framework of an Innosuisse research project, the University of Applied Sciences Graubünden. the Office for Forests and Natural Hazards of the Grisons and the Rhaetian Railway RhB are working together: To use remote monitoring to efficiently and reliably assess the condition of flexible protective structures.
Together with the company Geobrugg, 31 GUARD devices were installed: in the Upper and Lower Engadine and Poschiavo (Puschlav). The actual installation time is a few minutes in each case. The journey time is significantly longer. In the future, however, it is precisely here that facilitations are expected.
The devices were attached to rockfall barriers, debris flow barriers and avalanche barriers from different manufacturers. Via the cellular network, the devices send decades of environmental and physical data, for example, on corrosion, load or impacts. The data is collected and processed on an online platform; it can also be accessed via cell phone. The responsible parties are alerted in some instances, such as load increases or impacts.