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Intelligent sensors to monitor Schiphol during large expansion

Belgian start-up Zensor en Dutch consulting and engineering firm Movares join forces for one of Europe's leading airports

· infrastructure,smart infrastructure,sensor monitoring,Integrity Monitoring

The Belgian start-up Zensor and the Dutch consulting and engineering firm Movares will be jointly monitoring the expansion of the Dutch airport Schiphol in the so-called 'Capital Programme'. Using data from more than ten different types of sensors that measure vibrations, groundwater levels, noise, and dust, Zensor and Movares will be able to signal potential issues and even predict disruptions through an 'early warning' system. The data can help Schiphol maintain its maximum operational capacity during the expansion.

Zensor and Movares will be collecting data in and around the airport using more than ten different types of sensors. Through Zensor's online platform InfraLytics, the data will be made available to the client in real time. To accomplish this, consulting and engineering firm Movares is working in close collaboration with Belgian start-up Zensor, which is in charge of installing the sensors and collecting the data as well as analysing and visualising the results. The engineers at Movares will then provide recommendations based on that data.

Schiphol will benefit greatly from the cooperation of the two companies interpreting the data in a joint effort and using their combined experience and expertise to translate this data into valuable recommendations. Yves van Ingelgem, founder and CEO of Zensor: "The whole of this collaboration is much greater than the sum of its parts. Combining the engineering knowledge and extensive experience of Movares with Zensor's innovative ideas means that we can offer Schiphol exactly what it needs not only to predict, but even to prevent issues during the expansion."

Identifying issues before they arise

The system comes with a built-in 'early warning' feature: it continuously monitors the data of the sensors to predict issues effectively before they arise. Bart Slavenburg, account manager at Movares: "We are able to intelligently predict disruptions by combining traditional physical methods of analysis with modern data science approaches. This results in recommendations specifically geared towards the client, which in turn ensure that construction can continue uninterrupted."

Zensor monitors critical infrastructure at Schiphol airport, including Schiphol traffic tower

Why monitoring?

Construction can significantly disrupt the environment in which it takes place. It may produce excessive noise and dust, but can also result in stability issues caused by vibrations or groundwater drainage. This often delays the completion of a construction project and, in a worst- case scenario, may lead to sky-high damage claims. Extensive monitoring can help Schiphol maintain its maximum operational capacity during the five-year expansion process. The impact of the construction work on the surrounding buildings and the air traffic control tower has to be kept to a minimum and any complications during construction can be avoided.


The director of 'The Capital Programme Landside' at Schiphol is Peter Dijk. He was previously in charge of the construction of Amsterdam's North-South metro line and the Betuweroute freight railway. Both projects allowed him to experience first-hand the advantages of an integral monitoring system in combination with risk management and a vigilant team of construction supervisors. These aspects are going to be all the more important seeing as Schiphol is built on relatively unstable ground on land reclaimed from the Haarlemmermeer lake, which significantly increases the risk factor of large-scale infrastructure projects.

Artist Impression Schiphol Airport Terminal - Zensor & Movares Bron: Schiphol. Beeldcredit: architectenbureau cepezed

Asset management = intelligent infrastructure

Asset management is relatively new in the Netherlands, and especially new in Belgium, but in the Anglo-Saxon world, it has already become an essential part of construction work and infrastructure management. Continuous monitoring and analysis of a number of sensors ensures that the infrastructure remains healthy. It identifies parts of buildings or other infrastructure that are defective, require maintenance, or that soon need to be replaced.

Instead of only acting after a defect has been observed, project supervisors can intervene proactively before disruptions or damages occur and thus save money. Zensor's data platform InfraLytics processes the data it receives from high-tech sensors, allowing intelligent construction projects and keeping them safe from unexpected circumstances. For instance, InfraLytics is already being used to support offshore wind turbines and crane setups for large companies.

About Zensor

  • Zensor is a Belgian start-up that was founded in 2013 as a spin-off of VUB university in Brussels.
  • In an early phase, the company saw its first success with innovative technology, identifying corrosion in offshore wind turbines.
  • Nowadays, 9 engineers work at Zensor to support companies and SMEs as a monitoring partner across several industries: civil engineering, wind and water energy, manufacturing industry and (petro)chemistry.
  • They have specialised in, amongst others, asset management and predictive maintenance.
  • More information:


About Movares

  • Movares is a Dutch consulting and engineering firm, operating in the fields of infrastructure, public transport, mobility, energy, water, and urban development.
  • Movares has around 1,000 employees with offices in Utrecht, Arnhem, Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
  • More information:
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