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Summary of Proposal LAN1240

TitleInvestigation on the use of high-resolutionspaceborne radar data for area-based seismic damage estimation in urban areas.
Investigator DellAcqua, Fabio - University of Pavia and EUCENTRE, Electronics
Team Member
Prof. Yamazaki, Fumio - Chiba University, Department of Urban Environment Systems, Graduate School of Engineering
Dr. Twele, André - German Aerospace Center (DLR) at Oberpfaffenhofen, Civil Crisis Information and Geo Risks
SummaryThe use of EO data in earthquake contexts,especially for damage assessment purposes, has been widely proposed and anumber of results have been presented after every event, mostly based onoptical data and manual interpretation. In this proposal we instead focus onradar data and on making the damage assessment procedure an automated one. Weare investigating the possibility to use only post-event, Very High Resolution(VHR) spaceborne radar data to estimate the damage level in urban areasaggregated at the size of the city block. The usefulness of consideringpost-event only data consists of independence from the availability ofpre-event VHR data, which is still quite scarce given the young age ofmeter-resolution spaceborne SAR systems. The working hypothesis is that lessphysically ordered damaged areas reflect into a larger degree of entropy in thebackscattered radar patterns. This has already been experimented with somenotable preliminary results on COSMO/SkyMed data provided by the Italian Spaceagency through the Italian Civil Protection Department as a part of anemergency procedure on the occasions of recent earthquakes; the data was thenleft at disposal of the EUCENTRE/University of Pavia for research purposes. A part of the activities are currently beingcarried out in cooperation with and funded by the Italian Civil Protection Department, while thisproject would: -on the one side,unlock the provisionof TerraSAR-X data for testing the method developed on a different sensor andon a series of additional sites; -on the other side, trigger anadditional research line on the use of fractal dimension in post-eventreflectivity maps in place of the texture measures used so far.

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