Bachelor Thesis Co-Relator - Tony De Corso

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

Application of DInSAR technique to high coherence satellite images for strategic infrastructure monitoring: Morandi Bridge


Infrastructures are a fundamental component of our society in many ways. It is important to have the capability to collect data about their status and their change in time and this is the purpose of the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) process.

Structural Health Monitoring may alleviate the increasing age of our existing infrastructure, which makes the cost of maintenance and repairs a growing concern, by replacing scheduled maintenance with as-needed maintenance. Thus saving the cost of unnecessary maintenance, on one hand, and reducing unscheduled maintenance, on the other hand.

Nowadays, the scientific community is making exceptional progress in Earth Observation from space and this is bringing a large quantity of data, waiting to be used.

It is in this context that this work was born, in which the author wants to analyze and enhance the possibility of using satellite imagery for infrastructure monitoring.

One of the most interesting applications that make use of radar imagery data is interferometry. In particular, the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a technique, measuring the difference in phase values of two electromagnetic waves, returning in different times, that generates a map of deformations in a plane or a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in the space.

Potentially, this technique could measure millimetre-scale changes and deformation over spans of days or even years. These characteristics make the InSAR technique suitable for infrastructure monitoring. In such a way, it could dramatically change classical SHM, exploiting all the advantages that remote sensing brings.

In the first part of this thesis, an introduction to fundamental concepts of remote sensing is proposed. Its intention is to suggest key ideas that the reader needs to further analyze in order to get familiar with remote sensing.

In the second part, a brief description of remote sensing with radars can be found. Even though the topic would need a long discussion and that is not the purpose of this work, references about more exhaustive manuals and books are listed at the end of this document.

Eventually, in the third and last part, the author discuss about the Copernicus Mission and the usage of its satellites, in particular the usage of Sentinel-1 mission, to process SAR images in order to get information about infrastructure behaviour.

In addition to that, a research on the analysis of the famous Morandi bridge in Genoa has been carried out with the objective of understanding the potentiality of the applied procedure for disasters prevention.

During this project, we had the opportunity to collaborate with the Phi-Lab in Frascati (European Space Agency) and part of this work was conducted there, thanks to the opportunity offered by Dr. Pierre Philippe Mathieu.