Spread the love




The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is actively searching for innovative ideas, approaches, and technologies for the measurement of at-rest earth pressure, which is the lateral soil pressure exerted on a vertical surface. Particularly, there is a strong interest in direct, in-situ measurement methods that do not induce a reaction in the soil.



The USBR faces a longstanding problem in geotechnical engineering: the difficulty of measuring at-rest earth pressures. The difficulty lies in determining this ratio without disturbing the soil’s natural state. Traditional methods, involving soil movement, compromise the accuracy as the soil is no longer at rest.

Moreover, existing methods like earth pressure plates often suffer from stiffness mismatches with the soil, causing “arching” and inaccurate stress measurements. Historically, engineers have relied on empirical equations and conservative designs to estimate the lateral soil pressure due to the absence of suitable technologies.

The project aims to revolutionize this by seeking direct, in-situ measurements of at-rest earth pressures to strengthen empiricism and enhance the quality of designs.



  • Versatility – Able to measure lateral soil stress in a variety of soil types.
  • Durability – for use in field applications in a range of climate conditions (Hot and cold, rainy and sunny, etc.).
  • Ease of installation – Able to be installed at a new or existing structure.
  • Depth of functions – Operates effectively within a depth range of 1m to 10m or greater.
  • Data collection – open to single timepoint measurement and continuous measurement, with a preference for a series of measurements over time.


All TRLs (technology readiness levels) and development stages are of interest.


Desired outcome of the solution:

Open to a range of potential solutions including acquiring commercially available products or partnering to develop a customized technology.


Related TechNeeds:

Seeking: Advances in Electromagnetic Sensors for Impurity Detection

Seeking: High Temperature Sensors for Extreme Environments

Seeking: Strain Sensors for Parachute Canopies

Seeking: Arsenic Sensors and Analysis Tools


Image created via Bing AI

Spread the love