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Maral Bayaraa

Maral Bayaraa MSci

DPhil Candidate

Industrial Fellow of the 1851 Royal Commission

Earth Observation Specialist


Maral is a DPhil student with an Industrial Fellowship from the 1851 Royal Commission. Her research is on developing a satellite-based early warning system for geotechnical structures.

She is also an (part-time) Earth Observation Specialist at the Satellite Applications Catapult, the UK government-backed innovation and technology hub. Previously, she worked as a Remote Sensing Analyst at Airbus Defense and Space, and holds an MSci in Geology from the University of Bristol.

Research Interests

  • InSAR (Interferometric synthetic aperture radar) for monitoring critical infrastructure such as tailings dams
  • Ground and satellite data fusion with geotechnical numerical modelling
  • ML-based early warning system for infrastructure

Current Projects

Satellite-enabled early warning system for geotechnical structures:

My research is about developing an early warning system that would detect dangerous movements in infrastructure from space. The ambition is to end the loss of lives, livelihoods and irreparable environmental damage caused by the collapse of geotechnical structures. Tailings dams will be used as an exemplar for this work because these structures have an unacceptable high failure rate; for example, they are ten times more likely to fail than water dams with the potential to release poisonous chemicals into the surrounding environment. My research is a completely novel approach which necessarily brings together three distinct disciplines, namely radar remote sensing (InSAR), geotechnical modelling and machine learning.

Related Academics


  1. Rossi, C., Ford, J., Bayaraa, M., Bateson, L., Butcher, A., Petavratzi, E. and Hughes, A., 2020, December. An Earth Observation based workflow for tracking lithium movements in the Salar de Uyuni region, Bolivia. In AGU Fall Meeting 2020. AGU.
  2. Rossi, C., Bayaraa, M., Jones, T., Minchella, A. and Agass, S., 2019, July. The Novasar UK Background Mission. In IGARSS 2019-2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (pp. 8396-8399). IEEE
  3. Rossi, C., Spittle, S., Bayaraa, M., Pandey, A. and Henry, N., 2018, July. An earth observation framework for the lithium exploration. In IGARSS 2018-2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (pp. 1616-1619). IEEE.


2020 Industrial Fellow of the 1851 Royal Commission