Bachelor Thesis Advisor - Luca Mignone

Bachelor Degree in Electronic Engineering for Automation and Telecommunications, University of Sannio, Engineering Department, 2020

Use of differential interferometry on Sentinel-1 images for the measurement of earthquake-induced ground displacements.


One of the most feared and destructive natural catastrophes ever are earthquakes, due to the terrible consequences in terms of devastation of entire territories and the sacrifice of human lives. For this reason it is particularly important to develop innovative techniques, not only in the prediction of future earthquakes, but also in the prevention and detection of damage caused by an earthquake. With this thesis we wanted to show how an analysis based on the DInSAR (Differential Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar) technique has the potential to detect earthquake-induced ground displacements and measure them with great precision, under certain conditions. Albania is one of the countries particularly interested in seismic phenomena (certainly together with Italy), due to its position, straddling the Eurasian and African plates. The DInSAR technique was applied on the Albanian ground to detect the movements that occurred following the earthquakes concentrated around 11/26/2019. In fact, after the main shock, of magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale, the following shocks were more than 70, and of these about 50 had a magnitude between 3 and 4, ten of magnitude between 4 and 5, and three of magnitude higher. to 5. In order to apply the chosen technique, images acquired by the Sentinel-1 satellite were used, one of the first launched into space with the mission of the European program Copernicus. Two images were used, one before and one after the event, acquired respectively on 25/11/2019 (master image), and 01/12/2019 (slave image). For the necessary processing, both for image processing and for the application of the interferometric technique, ESA’s open source software SNAP (Sentinel Application Platform) was used, which contains most of the Toolboxes useful for Sentinel image processing . The same elaborations were then made with the SARPROZ software, made available free of charge for three months by the developers, which presents itself as a very powerful and versatile software, with a user-friendly graphic interface. Finally, the results obtained were compared with each other and with those obtained by the INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), showing how this procedure, although free and accessible to all, can still be qualitatively reliable. Part of this thesis work was carried out at the ESA Phi-Lab in Frascati, thanks to the agreement between the University of Sannio and ESA