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Summary of Proposal GEO1409

TitleTerraSAR-X interferometric products as an aid to the assessment and quality control for geotechnical engineering projects
Investigator Fernandez, Jose - Instituto de Geociencias, Dinamica Terrestre y Observacion de la Tierra
Team Member
Dr. González, Pablo J. - Western University, Earth Sciences
Mr. Morales Adalid, Antonio - Euroestudios S.L., Surveying
Dr. Mallorqui Franquet, Jordi - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Signal Theory and Communications Department
Dr. Tiampo, Kristy F. - Western University, Earth Sciences
Dr. Manunta, Michele - National Research Council, Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell’Ambiente
SummaryThe proposed project seeks the implementation ofcost-effective monitoring techniques and delivers information for decisionmaking in the context of critical infrastructures affected by ground deformationinstability processes (mainly subsidence and landslides). To obtain the desiredgoals, it requires the analysis of the potential use of interferometricsynthetic aperture radar (InSAR) from the most advanced platforms to monitorsmall target areas and linear infrastructures, which so far has been difficultto demonstrate with traditional sensors and low resolution interferometrictechniques. The derived ground deformation maps and time series at maximumspatial resolution are important for minimizing the damage caused by landslidesand mitigation activities in certain geotechnical engineering projects. We would like to demonstrate that radar-basedremote sensing techniques, especially those based on satellite sensors, can beas effective as conventional geotechnical ones for the detection and the monitoringof landslides, as well as a very important part of the monitoring system usingspace and terrestrial techniques. Unfortunately, the proposed locations arepartially vegetated and they will decorrelate faster at X-band. As in thesescenarios the number of potential persistent scatters can be low, and when thearea of interest is small as well, the processing can benefit from the usage ofhigh-resolution data that will maximize the chances of detecting persistentscatters coming from both natural targets and man-made structures. At thesesites, some man-made structures might be found in the landslide area (e.g.small buildings and road shoulders). The High Resolution Spotlight mode ofTerraSAR-X is thus the perfect choice as it offers the finest spatial resolution.In addition, its 11 days of revisit time and X-band carrier allow themonitoring of small variations in the landslide trend and capture variabledynamics. During a certain period (roughly a full year),the most favorable ascending or descending passes (in order to minimize theshadowing/foreshortening and maximize the sensitivity to deformation) willacquire data in spotlight mode at the two selected landslides. Data will be processed as the new images arereceived, with the limitation at the beginning of working with a reduced set ofdata. Once the data acquisition period ends, complete differential InSAR (DInSAR)processing will be carried out to validate and confirm, or eventually detectnew deformation areas. At that time, we also expect to have additional resultsbased on older ground-deformation and spaceborne techniques that willcontribute to a better understanding of the spatial and temporal evolution ofthe landslides. The proposed project is planned to last untilFebruary 2014, supported by a parallel project seeking an in-depth analysis ofthe strengths and weaknesses of different techniques and sensors. So the crosscomparison of multiple techniques is a must for delivering valued-addedinformation and the development of the desired cost-effective methodologies.The proposed TerraSAR-X project is a key component in a Spanish-governmentnationally funded collaboration between international researchers and a companyto develop and deliver applicable monitoring techniques. This associatedproject pursues the final goal of the implementation of the routine use ofinterferometric techniques integrated with the classical geodetic techniques formonitoring landslides. This Spanish national-level project, the EOSLIDE project(Development of new monitoringtechniques for landslides integrating space and ground observation) secures funding to develop this proposal.

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