Monitor critical infrastructure at a large scale with accuracy and precision

<18 hours

from data ingest to delivery of analysis


savings compared to traditional programs


to reduce noise and accelerate identification of issues

Insar-based ground deformation monitoring

Detect anomalous movement at critical infrastructure

Ensure timely response to ground movement through unparalleled monitoring capabilities.

At the core of Iris (formerly the Global Deformation System) lies the innovative use of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technology. This groundbreaking technology transcends geographical boundaries to monitor assets consistently and comprehensively.

With its seamless integration of cutting-edge technology, Iris is an indispensable tool for proactive risk management, precise decision-making, and the preservation of critical assets.

New UI—Iris empowers users to quickly view AOIs and monitor alerts through a simple, no-code interface

Who we serve

Blanket your assets with a layer of continuous, accurate monitoring

Proactively assess risks, devise mitigation strategies, and ensure the longevity of vital structures and facilities across a spectrum of assets.


InSAR monitoring is of significant value to mining companies by improving operational safety, transparency, and compliance. By identifying areas of ground movement, teams can monitor critical infrastructure such as tailings dams and mine pit walls in real time, and be alerted to abnormalities experienced by these structures. This allows for better resource allocation and minimizes operational disruptions. Companies are better positioned to meet regulatory requirements through the assessment of impacts on the surrounding environment.


Government regulatory bodies can assess industry-related ground movements and potential risks, enabling regulatory actions and informed permitting decisions. Our dual-use Iris product also provides government organizations with critical information about domestic and foreign infrastructure, thus improving mission-critical decision-making. Iris acts as a tip-and-cue mechanism, alerting organizations about potential threats or illicit activities which may require higher resolution monitoring. 

Risk assesment

InSAR data provides alerts about ground deformation that could affect infrastructure stability, aiding in risk assessment and proactive maintenance. Providing benefits across industries such as Insurance, Real Estate, and Civil Planning, Iris helps identify potential ground subsidence that could affect property value or safety. This enables informed investment decisions and ensures the safety of workers. By quantifying ground movement risks, insurance companies can accurately calculate insurance premiums and assess potential claims.

Environmental and humanitarian efforts

InSAR monitoring data provides evidence of ground deformation caused by various activities, enabling responsible resource extraction and reducing environmental impact. This empowers governments, enterprises, and NGOs to advocate for environmental regulations and provide transparency to key stakeholders about sustainability initiatives. This data can also aid disaster response teams in identifying areas of significant ground movement, assisting in evacuation planning and resource allocation during emergencies.

Case Study

Çöpler Mine Landslide

Following the announcement of a landslide at Çöpler Mine, Descartes Labs ran an InSAR analysis using Iris to look for anomalous signals preceeding the disaster.


Selected use cases

Iris provides monitoring capability that measures surface deformation over assets that may be susceptible to deformation and subsidence and acts as a tip-and-cue mechanism for more resource intensive monitoring.

Tailings dams

Rail lines


Open pit mine walls

Roads and highways

Hydroelectric dams

Underground mining

Urban infrastructure

Volcanic activity


See intricate details with sharper focus

Capture nuances that traditional sensors, like GPS and seismometers might miss, with innovative InSAR technology. InSAR acts like a high-powered microscope to reveal exacting details of your assets with precision and clarity.

Meet stakeholder expectations

Demonstrate a commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and sustainable operations that enhances investor confidence, attracts socially responsible investment, and improves public perception.

Environmental regulations

Identify changes to terrain and take targeted actions to minimize environmental footprint to comply with government regulations, thereby reducing financial and legal risk.


Reduce operational costs

Automated InSAR monitoring contributes to lower insurance reductions, and allows companies to address potential issues before they escalate—reducing downtime and maintenance costs.


Streamline operations

Extend the lifespan of assets with predictive maintenance efforts, while maximizing resource extraction by optimizing the mining process.


Iris bring deformation monitoring and alerting into a single location, no code required.

Product features

Iris acts as an early warning system by blanketing your assets with InSAR surveillance—the equivalent to having a ground sensor placed every 10m—enabling companies to take proactive measures to mitigate risks. The streamlined, no-code interface brings all the InSAR monitoring tools companies need into one place, making analysis and alerting quicker and easier than ever before.

Areas of Interest Analysis

  • Feasibility analysis to understand if InSAR is a good fit for a particular area of interest, without a full commitment upfront
  • Instant access to years of archived global SAR data for fast historical analysis and interpretation of current conditions on areas of interest
  • East Vertical analysis results available if the site has ascending and descending satellite collects

Data Frequency and Attribution

  • Data updates every twelve days at 10 meter resolution
  • Additional data attribution such as Velocity, Acceleration, Standard Deviation and Coherence included with data deliverables

Custom Data and Integration

  • Easily incorporate higher resolution InSAR, from commercial vendors, if further investigation is needed
  • Integrate Iris results with GPS, ground sensor and field data for holistic validation

Anomaly detection of Gamsberg mine shows persistent alerts over south-west area.

Blog series

Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar Capabilities

Dive into Descartes Labs SAR and InSAR capabilities and products in this five part technical blog series.

Product specs

Continuously monitor all assets with world-leading InSAR capabilities

Data Formats

  • Support for common InSAR data formats such as GeoDatabase, Shapefile, GeoJSON, GeoTIFF, GeoPackage, etc.
  • Metadata inclusion with data files.

Data Retention Policy

  • Clear policy on data retention, archival, and deletion.


  • Reliable and secure cloud-based storage for Iris data.
  • API, SFTP or AZcopy access for users/vendors to download data manually or programmatically.


  • Regular updates based on new data acquisitions.
  • Notification mechanism for users when new Iris data is available.


  • Ability to track different versions of Iris data for the same geographic area.
  • Archive capabilities for storing historical Iris data.

Documentation and Support

  • Comprehensive documentation on data formats, download procedures, and processing steps.
  • Responsive customer support to address user queries and issues.

Quality and Processing Reports

  • Generation of quality assessment reports for each dataset.
  • Detailed reports on preprocessing steps applied to the Iris data.

Reshaping the management and safeguarding of assets