Modern technologies are increasingly a key factor in today’s society. They help, develop and maintain the quality of people’s lives, and people are no longer able to cope without them. This is particularly important for the infrastructure objects, without which people’s lives and business development seem unthinkable. In our world, we use both brand new ones and built many decades ago, but they need maintenance in order to bе qualitative and safe. 

In all of these activities, the French company Sixense can provide modern, innovative, quality and service-friendly services to match the infrastructure to its design features and perform its functions. Whether it is construction, modernization, maintenance, repair, extension, upgrading, etc. on roads, railways, bridges, dams, residential and business buildings, tunnels, mines, metro or other.

In this regard Sixense and the French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry held an international seminar in Sofia, which aimed to familiarise the companies, organizations and institutions in Bulgaria with the modern and high-tech opportunities offered by the French company to its clients all over the world. As well as with the projects that Sixense has implemented in recent years and are currently running. The lecturers of the seminar were the regional manager of the company for Bulgaria Renel Dobre, the executive vice president Jean-Guislain La Fonta, Mark Brüssel, responsible for structural engineering services, and other people of high standing, which are dealing with the activities that use satellite monitoring and research and are responsible for software solutions.

From lecturers’ presentations, it has become clear that Sixense’s services and technologies can be used in many of the projects that are currently being implemented or planned in Bulgaria. For example, in recent years, the company has been working very actively on expanding subway networks in Paris, London and Barcelona. In the French capital, the company is responsible for monitoring the construction of new 200 km of underground rail tunnels and the 68 new metro stations. “We are involved in 25 of the 40 contracts,” said Jean-Guislain La Fonta. In Barcelona, ​​the company monitors the construction of the metro in the area of ​​the emblematic La Sagrada Familia cathedral. The purpose of Sixense’s work there, is to prevent potential negative consequences for the building itself, such as landslide, eventual collapses, not harm the citizens in the area by raising excessive noise, dusting, environmental pollution, and so on. , it became clear from La Fonta’s presentation.

Quite interesting and useful activities and experience have accrued in Sixense and the London Crossrail project. There, the company was hired to monitor and investigate the routing and digging of the new subway tunnel. Through satellite images and analysis of the ATLAS data, specialists have shown project designers and contractors how the building activities reflected the area. For example, it has become clear that the soil is sinking in some places because of the pumping of groundwaters. Some buildings have moved. It’s about millimeters, but for such projects this is essential. “In places, we found a 3-4 cm sinking of the terrain during the construction, when it was over, it went up again and rebuilt almost completely – it rose by 10-15 mm,” notes B.P.. It has also turned out that the construction has affected the terrain in a radius of 2.5 km. But at the same time expectations were for larger territory. The impact of other construction works in the area was also severe. It is a curious moment that Sixense’s work has established a settlement previously unknown to geologists. The financial effect of the monitoring of the French company was expressed in the savings of 1.5 million pounds.

Another example is the Sissterra system, which Sixense has patented in the past year. It is a geophysical technology that is applied in a number of diverse sectors, such as oil production, mining, and all deep deposits. It checks for vibrations and soil problems or the potential for them. The research is non-destructive, but is done through sensors, La Fonta said. In the construction of the new sections of the Paris metro via Sissterra, the condition of the soil and the terrain was checked before the the tunneling machine, known in our country as a mole, started working. It has been investigated whether there are any weak spots on the future route that need to be strengthened before starting the tunnel digging. In this case, money has been saved again, because without this technology, the streets would have to be closed and the workers would have to begin with the digging, which costs a lot of money. This was made clear from the words of the Executive Vice President of Sixense.

When it comes to building of an overhead infrastructure, such as a road or a railway line, can be used the LiDAR technology. It is a laser exploration of the terrain, which takes place by droning, helicopter or other aircraft. So the terrain is being mapped and it can be gauged exactly where the rails for the future high-speed rail have to go through, “said M.L..He noted that the map could be 2D or 3D depending on the needs. And he specified that the project could also be a building, road, bridge, some big object, and so on. The benefits of LiDAR are many – the mapping of this technology is fast, it covers a large area (100-200-300 km) and at the same time the accuracy is up to 1-2 cm. Not as with older technologies that achieve even less than 30, even 50 cm accuracy.

Sixense’s technologies can help not only in building new sites, but also in maintaining, repairing or expanding existing ones, became clear from Mark Brüssel’s presentation. The researches can easily and quickly localise, for example, time-cracked cracks which appeared in the construction over the time. They can also be removed in time before they have caused a problem. Also, on a bridge, for example, where a construction monitoring system has not been installed, it can be placed later. “So we can see the problems before they arise, and save money from more serious repairs,” Brüssel said.

This is another non-destructive technology that can also be used after a problem has arisen. In this case, the system will find the reason for it and the defect will not only be removed, but also the reasons for it will be found. Brüssel notes that after a comprehensive analysis of a facility, technologies will show whether the construction can still carry the burden for which it is designed for or if it needs some activities to restore the set parameters. Or, to determine at what point in time a repair will be needed and how long an item will survive.

Sixense systems can also be useful for entities operating a foreign infrastructure such as concessionaires, says. An example is one of their clients, who was chosen as a concessionaire on a 200-kilometer road. The company hired the French company for its satellite technology ATLAS. Through it, it all the way has been scrutinized straight from space and the critical areas were detected. Through this technology were saved a lot of money and the concessionaire has invested only where it was needed. Thus ATLAS has detected a landslide that moves in two directions, underground waters in several places and more. The used technology can provide data on the state of the infrastructure and the terrain under and around it before any event occures or before the construction has begun. And so again – the technology saves a lot of money that would otherwise have been spent unnecessarily.