infrastructures planning and monitoring user consultation conference 2019

26—27 February 2019 | ESA-ESRIN | Frascati (Rome), Italy

Connect with us


Day 1 - 26/02/2019


08:30 - 09:00

Opening Session

Chairs: Arino, Olivier (ESA- ESRIN), Rossner, Godela (DLR)

09:00 - 10:40

  • 09:00 - Welcome Introduction
    Desnos, Yves-Louis - ESA- ESRIN, Italy

    Download PDF

    Welcome, Agenda, Copernicus, DIAS and TEPs

  • 09:20 - Infrastructure Monitoring as an EO topic. A german perspective 
    Rossner, Godela
    Rossner, Godela - DLR, Germany

    Download PDF

  • 09:40 - An overview of the added-value of High Resolution imagery for Infrastructures Planning and Monitoring
    Cherchali, Selma - CNES, France

    Download PDF

  • 10:00 - Engaging EO customers in the Innovation process
    Donnelly, Rory Patrick; Sawyer, Geoff - EARSC, Belgium

    Download PDF

    After the Baveno 20 Years On celebrations last year, 2019 could be seen as the 21stbirthday of the operational Copernicus-based EO sector. This milestone in many cultures represents a coming of age. For our sector this means moving from a research-dominated domain to a commercially supported domain, unshackled from an over-reliance on funding and support. To facilitate this important step, we need to grow as a sector from a profound understanding of the physics of EO to a more holistic understanding of the role of our technology in the lives of everyday Europeans; i.e. how we ensure that decision-making processes at commercial, governmental and private levels are enhanced through our work.


    At EARSC we believe that this involves taking a big step towards our sector’s customers and including them early in the development process of new products and services. We believe in engaging market representatives in an ongoing dialogue about where they think our technologies can deliver financial benefits to them and opening ourselves to the existence and importance of additional factors that may seem foreign to technically-minded individuals. Only in such a way can we ensure that our solutions fit in the day-to-day of our target markets and deliver real business and social value.


    One EO-sector that has made great headway in this journey is the infrastructure monitoring sub-sector; this is already one of largest markets for the geospatial industry, and there is an increasing role to be played in the end to end asset life cycle of both new and existing infrastructure assets. With a host of societal changes and discussions underway, e.g.  the societal cost of climate change and cradle to grave product life cycles to name a but two, it is the right time to discuss the development of range of new monitoring services based on this powerful technology.  The identification of the societal and financial benefits of such new services forms one of the core outcomes of the workshop, along with a roadmap for how to achieve these benefits, where they are not being possible today.


    This presentation will show some of the innovative infrastructure monitoring services in the market today and describe the downstream value chain EARSC has mapped in this sector and its place in the European EO sector.  It will then outline how EARSC can help European EO companies engage with their target markets in an ongoing way to develop services that will be taken up and deliver impact to the company themselves (sales) and to Europe at large (downstream financial/ environmental benefits/improved government performance). 



  • 10:20 - Breaking Silos: Actions to develop Infrastructure as an Asset Class and Address the Information Gap
    Della Croce, Raffaele - OECD, France

    Download PDF

    Policy and industry initiatives have been launched to build a better understanding of infrastructure at the macro and micro level. Taken together, all of these data sources and methods used in these initiatives may be applied to help close the data gap in infrastructure, charting a course forward that better describes investment expectations for both policymakers and investors. The aim of this report is to develop proposals for addressing the main gaps in information focusing in particular on infrastructure financing and the role of private sector. The proposals build on the two Workshops on Data collection for Long Term Investment held on the 2nd November and 10th of May 2017, supporting the G20/OECD Taskforce on Institutional Investors and Long Term Investment Financing, as well as on the OECD and Long-term Infrastructure Investor Association (LTIIA) Joint Forum on Developing Infrastructure as an Asset Class on 18 October 2017. Actions proposed are also building on the OECD report “Addressing Data Gaps in Long Term Investment: an Agenda for Research” developed in cooperation with other countries and international organisations for the G20 (e.g. Canada, Italy and the BIS). The G20 could play a key role in helping to advance the proposed agenda for research, building on countries and IO’s contributions.

Coffee Break

10:40 - 11:10

Transport (roads, railways, and airports)

Chairs: Cherchali, Selma (CNES), Liebig, Volker (Airbus Defence and Space)

11:10 - 12:50

  • 11:10 - Infrastructure Planning and Monitoring – Examples, Future Products and Governance
    Liebig, Volker - Airbus Defence and Space, Germany

    Download PDF

    The presentation will show some examples of infrastructure monitoring today, mainly from Airbus services. Potential future open "basemap" products will be proposed and a discussion of the future governance concerning open and free products vs. commercial markets will be touched.

  • 11:30 - Rheticus® Safeway - Dynamic Roadway and Railway Networks Monitoring
    Drimaco, Daniela; Massimi, Vincenzo - Planetek Italia s.r.l., Italy

    Download PDF

    The cloud-based platform developed by Planetek Italia, called Rheticus® from the name of the unique pupil of Nicolaus Copernicus, provides application services, based on open data, such as satellite images and geospatial, environmental and socio-cultural data available online. The main services already available on the platform are based on Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellite data. Thanks to these data, Rheticus® is capable of delivering continuous monitoring services of Earth's surface transformation phenomena, as the urban evolution, transportation infrastructure, landslides, fires or water and sewer network monitoring.

    In the field of transportation infrastructure, the greatest challenge of the transport sector actors is ensuring to be able to design, build, manage and maintain safe, efficient and sustainable transportation infrastructures that allow remaining competitive in an increasingly global market. Hence, land and infrastructure monitoring is a key activity to ensure people’s safety, environmental protection and the safeguarding of assets at all stages of the life cycle of infrastructures, from design to production, management and maintenance.

    Rheticus® Safeway is a turnkey vertical web service for the satellite continuous monitoring of instability phenomena affecting transportation infrastructures (roadways, railways, including bridges and tunnels) and/or their nearby areas, caused by structural defects or ground displacements such as landslides or subsidence phenomena.

    Rheticus® Safeway, by exploiting Sentinel-1 constellation open data and by making use of displacement measurements  (PS technique), indicates locations of concern and lets operators to act upon the information, to simplify planning of new roads, monitoring throughout the construction stages, and/or maintenance activities of existing roads. Thus, the service allows an “a priori” approach, helping to highlight problems before they become critical. As a result, operators better manage their financial resources and reduce service disruptions and/or threats for people.

    All those information are updated and delivered to transport sector actors with extremely intuitive Business Intelligence tools to add dynamic analysis and new features to their planning, management and maintenance activities.

    Rheticus® Safeway is useful to different target users involved throughout all stages of the life cycle of transport infrastructures:

    • Engineering offices in charge of transportation infrastructure planning and design: the service helps to identify the best locations for new roadways and railways by avoiding unstable areas affected by landslides or subsidence phenomena, or it helps to project necessary precautions such as slope-stability intervention predicting and minimising production costs.
    • Engineering companies in charge of transportation infrastructure building: the service highlights the effects that construction activities might have on surrounding land, inducing landslides.
    • Companies in charge of the management and/or maintenance of transportation networks: the service helps keeping up with road infrastructure management, maintenance, and rehabilitation needs over time with regularly updated data and powered by BI analytics capabilities.

    Access to Rheticus® SafeWay is made available by subscription and allows users to have continually updated information.

  • 11:50 - The Momit Project For An Integration Of Remote Sensing Technologies Into Railway Infrastructure Monitoring System
    Ferri, Manuela
    Donzelli, Valeria (1); Ferri, Manuela (1); del Sole, Andrea (2); Jover, Roberto Tomás (3); Navarro, Jose A. (4); Riquelme, Jose Luis Asensio (5); Filippini, Nazzareno (6) - 1: e-GEOS S.p.A., Italy; 2: NEAT S.r.l.; 3: Universidad de Alicante; 4: Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya; 5: Terabee S.A.S.; 6: Rete Ferroviaria Italiana

    Download PDF

    In the framework of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking Programme, technology initiatives are carrying out to accelerate the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. The ongoing MOMIT project (Multi-scale Observation and Monitoring of railway Infrastructure Threats) develops innovative products and solutions supporting the maintenance process of railway infrastructures. MOMIT concept is based on the exploitation of unmanned technologies as Earth Observation satellites and RPAS-borne sensors to support infrastructure maintenance: it proposes new operational workflows able to support intelligent asset management, with a high degree of automation, and to lead to a wider asset control and to detailed monitoring of bridges, tunnels and tracks.

    MOMIT project proposes multiscale and automated data post-processing integrated with value added information products into a remote-sensing monitoring tools.

    Effectiveness and efficiency of the system will be demonstrated by six main application cases, validated in a real operational environment:

    • Ground movements: interferometry derived by SAR satellite data analysis will adopt to define tools and indicators supporting the user for detailed analysis and preventive actions planning.
    • Hydraulic activities: a combination of optical and radar satellite data will be used to monitor soil moisture and water bodies close to the track.
    • Natural hazards: anomalies along the track related to natural phenomena (as vegetation growth) will be monitored by the use of satellite data.
    • Electrical system: RPASs will be equipped with innovative sensors to monitor electrical effects impacting on the infrastructure efficiency.
    • Civil engineering structures: a combination of satellite and RPAS data will be used to identify possible criticalities to the infrastructure.
    • Safety: anomalies and illicit activities along the track will be monitor by the use of optical a radar satellite data.

  • 12:10 - High Resolution Remote Sensing to Support Transport Infrastructure Monitoring
    Reinartz, Peter; Kurz, Franz; Vig, Eleonora; Azimi, Seyedmajid; Runge, Hartmut - DLR German Aerospace Center, Germany

    Download PDF

    Remote Sensing can contribute in many ways to the topic of Transport. In this contribution we will focus on several aspects on how high and very high resolution data from satellites and aircraft can generate meaningful information for the monitoring and mapping of traffic related infrastructure objects. In principle there are two main fields: monitoring static objects like roads, lane markings so called road furniture, and other 3D objects and on the other hand tracking of moving objects like cars, trucks, cyclists and pedestrians is of interest. From a spatial resolution point of view airborne data are more suitable for these tasks but it could be shown that also high resolution satellite data can already partly be used for these monitoring and mapping tasks.

    Through recent developments in machine learning (especially deep learning) the accuracy and completeness of detecting and mapping traffic related objects in image data has increased significantly. Several methods and results are shown for the classification and object extraction of cars, other vehicles, ships, road areas, lane markings, bridges and further infrastructure. Since high definition (HD-)maps  are of specific importance for autonomously driving cars a further focus is on generating these HD-maps especially by improving the absolute geo-location accuracy of optical data sets through ground control from precisely geocoded TerraSAR-X data. The potential of using VHR satellite data like from WorldView-x satellites is additionally explored.

    The task of tracking objects like vehicles and pedestrians in high temporal resolution image time series is shown using airborne image data acquired from airplanes and helicopters. It is demonstrated, how accurate trajectories of single moving objects can be derived and how this can be used for validation of e.g. GPS tracks of cars and also for the in-situ measurements from vehicle sensors. The latter is especially important to be able to independently verify the “car vision” results of autonomously operating cars.

  • 12:30 - Monitoring Alpine Transportation Infrastructures using Space Techniques
    Strozzi, Tazio; Wegmüller, Urs; Caduff, Rafael - Gamma Remote Sensing, Switzerland

    Download PDF

    Rockfalls and landslides are natural hazards of special relevance to mountainous areas with severe human and economic  consequences. The densely inhabited Alps, with its large network of transport infrastructures, are particularly sensitive to these types of hazards. Railways and roads are frequently exposed to natural hazards with high costs for erecting and maintaining protective structures, monitoring, and looking after protective forests. In addition, in the case of a crisis situation there are high costs associated with the closure of railways and roads.

    We investigated the technical feasibility and commercial viability of services enabled by satellite data to support operators of alpine transportation infrastructures to understand ground movements along their network in past projects, partly supported by ESA's Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme. Our aim is to provide a service to the alpine transportation infrastructure operators (e.g. railway companies, national, regional, or community level governments, operators of mountain cableways, pipelines and powerlines) that is based on the integration of satellite SAR interferometry, terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS/GNSS and is highly complementary to state-of-art terrestrial methods. The information to be provided is ground motion, which can include motion of the transportation infrastructure (railway, roads), motion of rocks or terrain slopes above transportation infrastructure, and motion caused by tunnelling.

    One major focus of our activity is the acceptance of the space technologies in the user's practices. Proof-of-concepts were therefore accomplished to meet this goal. We will in particular present results related to: (i) a large-scale survey along the Gotthard railway using satellite SAR interferometry in order to identify sectors of the network endangered by large slow-moving deep-seated landslides; (ii) a large-scale survey over the Alptransit tunnel conducted with satellite SAR interferometry in order to detect large-scale consolidation; (iii) local monitoring of the railway’s embankment with satellite SAR interferometry; (iv) local monitoring of hazardous slopes along roads and railways using terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS/GNSS.

Open Discussion on Transport

12:50 - 13:10

Lunch Break

13:10 - 14:10

Coastal, Hydrology, Tunnels, Bridges, Mining and Energy

Chairs: Böhm, Karsten (Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde / Federal Institute of Hydrology), Della Croce, Raffaele (OECD)

14:10 - 16:10

  • 14:10 - Satellite-based PSInSAR for Geodetic Monitoring of the Hessigheim Lock
    Böhm, Karsten - Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde / Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany

    Download PDF

    The Federal Institute of Hydrology advises the German Waterways and Shipping Administration in the field of water management. Here, the focus is on ensuring safe and sustainable shipping. Among other things, this involves issues in the field of geodetic monitoring of hydraulic structures such as locks, weirs, dikes and bridges.

    Currently the Department of Geodesy is working on a geodetic monitoring of the Hessigheim lock at the Neckar river. One Part of this monitoring is composed of the satellite-based detection of spatial changes of the lock and its environment. For this purpose, the potential of Copernicus data is evaluated compared with TerraSAR-X data in conjunction with the PSInSAR technique for geodetic issues. The project aims to test such innovative methods and to optimize them for an intended practical use.

  • 14:30 - InSAR as a Monitoring Tool for the Tideway East Deep Tunnel, Verified with Ground Surveying
    Scoular, Jennifer (1); Ghail, Richard (2); Mason, Philippa (3); Lawrence, James (1) - 1: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, United Kingdom; 2: Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London; 3: Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London

    Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is increasingly used for monitoring ground surface motion at construction projects in urban areas. This research builds on the successful use of InSAR as a monitoring tool during and following construction of Crossrail in London [1, 2] and applies the lessons learned to the Tideway Thames Tunnel.

    The Tideway Thames Tunnel is a major ongoing tunnelling project in London, designed to tackle the problem of overflowing Victorian sewers. The tunnel is 7 m in diameter, 25 km in length and runs from Acton in West London to Abbey Mills in East London at depth of 20 to 60 m. The western and central sections are aligned with the river but the east section, which is funding this research, divides into onshore two parts at Bermondsey. The main tunnel runs north-east to meet the Lee Tunnel at Abbey Mills, and the Greenwich Connection Tunnel runs south-east to Greenwich. Tunnelling in the east section is scheduled to start in January 2020.

    This study uses both TerraSAR-X (TSX) and Sentinel-1 data to demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of each satellite for civil engineering projects in urban areas. The processing technique used is Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI), which provides a high density of measurement points in urban environments, over a large area and long-time span. Sentinel-1 data have been processed using ENVI SARscape and processed TSX data are provided by Sixense.

    Corner reflectors, which reflect radar signals back to the satellite with a particularly strong and recognisable pattern, have been stationed both along the line of the tunnel and at secondary schools elsewhere in London to act as 'ground-truth' points, and on the Tideway parts are tied into the traditional ground monitoring network.

    Three years of TSX and Sentinel-1 have been processed and these results have been integrated and compared with the ground-based measurement network. This study demonstrates the potential for PSI, used before construction begins, to identify any potential geotechnical hazards and establish a baseline for long-term, wide area, monitoring.

    1.            Marti, J.G., S. Nevard, and J. Sanchez, The use of InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) to complement control of construction and protect third party assests. Crossrail Learning Legacy Report: London, UK, 2017.

    2.            Robles, J.G., M. Black, and B. Gomar, Correlation Study between In-Situ Auscultation and Satellite Interferometry for the Assessment of Nonlinear Ground Motion on Crossrail London; Crossrail Learning Legacy Report. Crossrail Learning Legacy Report: London, UK, 2016.

  • 14:50 - Monitoring Infrastructure in London, UK, using high-resolution TerraSAR-X data processed with SqueeSAR™
    Bischoff, Christine (1,2); Mason, Philippa (3); Ghail, Richard (4); Giannico, Chiara (1); Ferretti, Alessandro (1) - 1: TRE ALTAMIRA, Italy; 2: Dept of Civil Engineering, Imperial College London, UK; 3: Dept of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, UK; 4: Dept of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, UK

    Download PDF

    InSAR technologies are now considered important in all phases of civil engineering projects. Presented here are the complex deformation patterns observed over Blackfriars Bridge and the Millenium Dome (O2 Arena) in London, UK, using high-resolution TerraSAR-X data, processed with TRE ALTAMIRA’s SqueeSAR™ algorithm.

    Blackfriars Bridge, which crosses the River Thames in Central London, was recently refurbished and converted into platforms for Blackfriars Train Station. The structure of the refurbished Blackfriars Bridge is complex and comprises elements of two preceding bridges that were built in the 19th century, as well as new materials, such as the solar panels on its roof. The resulting deformation patterns observed in the TerraSAR-X data reflect this, in that post-construction settlement is uneven, both along and on either side of bridge, while seasonal patterns, related to thermal expansion, are superimposed on the broader settlement trends. The interaction between radar and solar panels adds to the complexity.

    The O2 Arena, in East London, was affected by the subsidence and subsequent ground rebound caused by temporary lowering of the groundwater table (dewatering) for the construction of Crossrail, London’s new underground line (the Elizabeth Line). The TerraSAR-X data reveal how the different phases of dewatering affected the O2 Arena and caused differential settlement across the structure. The O2 Arena is a good illustration that the precise and physical location of a PSI measurement point is not always obvious because, in this case, the measurement point height indicates that the radar penetrated the O2 Arena’s canvas roof and is measuring deformation of the metallic building structure underneath.

    These and other examples provide further evidence of the potential of high-resolution InSAR data for monitoring urban areas. The integration of remote sensing techniques with in situ measurements is already becoming a standard for monitoring tunneling works during construction (in fact, the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association has already included InSAR among the technologies complementing terrestrial surveys). In the near future, the synergy of satellite data and ground-based sensors should be able to create an early warning system, which will help increase safety and better plan maintenance works, saving resources and – in some cases – human lives too.

  • 15:10 - Engineering Applications of Radar Remote Sensing: Monitoring of Critical Infrastructure, and of Open and Underground Mining
    Neelmeijer, Julia (1); Motagh, Mahdi (1,2); Tang, Wei (1); Haghshenas Haghighi, Mahmud (1,2); Stefanova Vassileva, Magdalena (1,2) - 1: GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany; 2: Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

    Download PDF

    In the last two decades, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data provided by satellite missions such as ERS, Envisat and ALOS allowed an ever increasing use of Interferometric SAR (InSAR) as a geodetic method of choice to investigate deformation processes corresponding to various types of natural and man-made hazards. The ability of scientists and engineers for near real-time data mining of SAR data for space-borne surveying and risk management applications at medium resolution was revolutionized when a unique mapping capability and a short revisit cycle was introduced with ESA’s new Sentinel-1 mission.  In addition, the availability of high-resolution X-band SAR sensors on board satellite missions such as the German TerraSAR-X (TSX) and the Italian COSMO-SkyMed (CSK), which have been in existence for more than ten years now, has provided unprecedented possibilities for the detailed representation of buildings and the analysis of movements and thermal changes associated with infrastructure in urban areas. However, the full potential of space-borne SAR technologies is still unrecognized within the civil and surveying engineering community. In this presentation we show the results of several studies, where both medium-resolution and high-resolution SAR data were exploited for retrieving information about infrastructure stability and ground deformation resulting from engineering and anthropogenic activities in mining and urban areas.

  • 15:30 - Earth Observation – A support for the distributed energy sector (micro-/ mini-grids)
    Kraetzschmar, Elke (1); Baier, Simone (1); Raisin, Philippe (2); Gaihre, Nabin Raj (2) - 1: IABG, Germany; 2: TFE Consulting, Germany

    Download PDF

    Sustainable planning of affordable distributed energy installations consider many factors and requires draft but up-to-date analysis of the local environment and settlement structure potentially affected. It should provide a picture of the actual situation, its potential effect on local development, and with this analysis, it can support an enhancement of the electrification and therefore the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal agenda (i.e. SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy).

    The presented project “Integrated applications for micro grids in developing countries” (ESA 4000124252/18/UK/AD) reviews state of the art processes and addresses the potential of EO services towards supporting the site identification process within the Indian and African (selected countries) context. It will show, on how Earth Observation (EO) Services can support site identification and assessment by providing up-to-date information layer, such as urban extent, infrastructural and agricultural elements as well as information related to relief and potential hazards, among others. Overall aim is to provide ready-to-run cost-efficient, standardized solutions suitable for a scalable site identification process following different aspects, such as remoteness of a region, economic viability, vulnerability regarding natural hazards or other.

  • 15:50 - Use of InSAR to Support Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges
    Selvakumaran, Sivasakthy (1); Middleton, Campbell (1); Cristian, Rossi (2) - 1: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2: Satellite Applications Catapult, United Kingdom

    Download PDF

    Bridges are a key link within transport networks and keep people, traffic and economies moving. The deterioration of ageing infrastructure and recent collapses of bridges highlights the vital importance of monitoring the health of such structures and of looking for signs of problems to come. Satellite Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) provides remote measurements at millimetre scale over large areas, but the interpretation of such data into civil engineering contexts remains more than a trivial task. This work presents an overview of the monitoring of several bridge structures in London and the UK to investigate the potential for InSAR to be used to support bridge management activities as well as be incorporated into digital environments used by the construction and asset maintenance sectors.  Use of InSAR to support monitoring activities includes looking for precursors to failure, spotting signs of unusual behaviour and comparing satellite data to the output from traditional civil engineering monitoring schemes.  The possibility of using corner reflectors to enhance monitoring schemes in a similar fashion to current use of target prisms for automated total station measurements at key points of is presented, and displacement data from traditional and satellite monitoring systems are compared and studied to understand the opportunities and limitations of InSAR monitoring to support wider monitoring strategies and provide value to asset owners.

Open Discussion on Coastal, Hydrology, Tunnels, Bridges, Mining and Energy

16:10 - 16:30

Welcome Drink and Posters

16:30 - 18:30

  • A traffic analysis in the urban sprawl context. Simple Approach with the Attractors’ Method
    Loret, Emanuele (1); Gullotta, Gaia (1); Sarti, Francesco (2) - 1: c/o ESA-ESRIN, Italy; 2: ESA-ESRIN, Frascati Italy

    Situations of heavy and congested traffic in urban areas have been analyzed  by using a statistical approach based on both the identification of specific locations that attract drivers in a multipoint-to-multipoint traffic structure and their classification (attractor’s value) as a function of the number of people visiting them by car in different time ranges. By using the most recent images from Sentinel 2A and Pleiades and applying a Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) function, attractors’ distribution density values have been estimated and then integrated with critical traffic points (nodes) and traffic density in a “congestion” map. Finally, cross-comparing congestion values with the urban land cover and road network, a “Quality of Life” map has been generated. The authors use this term because the congestion of traffic flows, with all the problems that it entails (such as long travel time, air and acoustic pollution, and so on) is a good indicator of the quality of life, especially in small towns close to major cities such as Rome. Results show that this type of “off-line” analysis would allow administrators to identify, quickly and at low cost, areas where citizens’ quality of life is most affected by traffic and, hence, to focus costly ground measurements and interventions primarily there.

  • SCIRES - Supporting Critical Infrastructures Resilience from Space
    Drimaco, Daniela (1); Amodio, Angelo (1); Massimi, Vincenzo (1); Rosato, Vittorio (2); Pollino, Maurizio (2); Bignami, Christian (3); Albano, Matteo (3) - 1: Planetek Italia s.r.l., Italy; 2: ENEA; 3: INGV

    In 2018 ESA published a tender for developing EO services to support the resilience and sustainability of critical infrastructures and to make such infrastructures more “green”.

    Planetek Italia, as prime contractor, together with ENEA and INGV as sub-contractors selected the “integrated water cycle management” as object for their feasibility study. The project, whose name is SCIRES - Supporting Critical Infrastructures Resilience from Space, is currently on going.

    The integrated water cycle management relies on different infrastructures: water basin and impoundment, transport and distribution pipelines, wastewater collection, and as interconnected infrastructures, power distribution networks on which the infrastructures rely on for energy supply, and power plants that exploits the path of the water to produce energy. Two innovative EO services, eventually integrated into the CIPCast system (an existing Decision Support System developed by ENEA) are object of the study: (1) pipeline monitoring service and (2) impoundment stability service.

    • Pipeline monitoring by using EO data, IoT (in-situ sensors) and AI technique

    The service aims at identifying precursor phenomena related to the breaking of pipeline, responsible for the losses of water, and subsequent water infiltration in the ground and potentially causing damages to the surrounding infrastructures. The goal is to prioritise the maintenance of the pipelines, basing the priority on the computed vulnerability and on the subsequent risk computed in the CIPCast DSS.

    Damages to pipelines may be caused by several factors, coming from the environment (weather, subsidence-causing stress on the ground…) or from the working condition of the network (pressure and velocity of the fluids and relevant gradients…).

    Many statistic models have been implemented to correlate the probability of breaks, causing losses, to environmental and endogenous parameters. In this scenario, it is possible to insert an element of innovation based on the concept of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. These technologies will allow, if adequately trained using big data, which the precursor can be. The bigger is the database, the more positive results are reachable. With the support of the user, the number of potential parameters can be reduced, enhancing the likelihood of success of the technical feasibility.

    • The Impoundment Stability service

    The service is focused on the monitoring by means of mean ground velocity and time series of deformation (Persistent Scatterers) computed by Rheticus®’ services, integrated with in situ geological and geomorphological data. The objective of the service is to provide a comprehensive analysis of horizontal and vertical surface and near sub-surface deformations and dislocations that affect hydraulic works, such as water impoundments and distribution networks that could be damaged by hazardous events. In particular, landslides (LS), deep-seated gravitational slope deformation (DGSD), and differential ground subsidence (GS) phenomena are taken into account. Both LS, DGSD and GS can damage or threaten the functionalities of the infrastructures itself (e.g. excessive pipeline deformations, differential subsidence close or below hydraulic works), especially if triggered by heavy rains or earthquakes.

  • Urban Footprint Analysis and Mapping of the District of Rome with SENTINEL-1 and SENTINEL-2 data.
    Martino, Luca (1); Emanuele, Loret (2); Martino, Michele (3) - 1: Serco Spa for ESA, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, EOP-G Department, Frascati, Italy; 2: Department of Civil Engineering and Computer Science (DISP), University of Tor Vergata, Italy; 3: Serco Spa for ESA, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, EOP-SD Department, Frascati, Italy

    Urban areas are particularly vulnerable, not only because of the concentration of population but also due to the interplay that exists between people, infrastructures and natural or man-made risks. Based on the continuation of our past study, the present analysis aims to highlight recent effects of the urbanization process occurring over the entire district of Rome. Overlays of SENTINEL-1 and SENTINEL-2 satellite images, collected over a 3 years period, were validated via Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques, in a particular procedure applied to urban land and agricultural transformations. Statistical analysis was performed via the Urban Area Profile index in order to quantify the sprawl phenomenon, by defining several landscape metrics. This work has been enriched by means of complementary information available from very high resolution Copernicus optical and radar sensors, like the ones onboard of the COSMO-SkyMed and Pléiades constellations, including the series of observations on land use published by the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research.  Strong evidence of urban expansion, accompanied by environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, is provided.

  • Exploitation of Earth Observation data for monitoring the structure stability: the I.MODI Service .
    Arangio, S. (1); Aranno, P. D (1); Guerrero, F. (2); Marsella, Maria (1,2); Moreiro, I. (1); Palanzuela, J. (2); Gelabert, M. Del Riego (1,2) - 1: Survey Lab srl; 2: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e Ambientale Sapienza University Roma, Italy

    The safety of civil structures is assured not only by reliable design methods and correct execution, but also by a constant control of the behavior during their lifetime. In particular, accurate and timely knowledge of the structural deformation conditions is of primary importance and it can support the implementation of simulation models to identify anomalies and to anticipate critical conditions improving the capability of satisfying safety requirements.
    Improving the monitoring capabilities using innovative remote sensing technologies represent a key factor among other prevention actions for the maintenance of safety conditions and for limiting the damage that may occur in case of seismic events Satellite differential SAR interferometry techniques (DInSAR) allow to measure displacements with high precision such as to be adequately integrated with in situ measurements and also employed for the development of models for the assess and forecast structural conditions.

    I.MODI (Implemented MOnitoring system for structural DIsplacement) project, developed under the H2020 SME Instrument program, fully integrates DInSAR data into standard procedure devoted to structural damage assessment thus contributing to implement mitigation and prevention actions for potential failure.  I.MODI has been widely experimented and validated on buildings and large infrastructures. A number of significant examples will be presented in order to highlight the benefits of the DInSAR data assimilation into the structural modeling approach and the method for integrating the outcome with specific sub-surface investigation.

  • Earth Observation Capabilities for River Discharge Monitoring
    Tarpanelli, Angelica (1); Brocca, Luca (1); Benveniste, Jerome (2) - 1: CNR IRPI, Italy; 2: ESA, Esrin, Italy

  • Sar Altimetry Processing On Demand Service For Cryosat-2 AND Sentinel-3 At ESA G-POD: Four years of G-POD Sar Service
    Benveniste, Jérôme (1); Dinardo, Salvatore (2); Sabatino, Giovanni (3); Restano, Marco (4); Ambrozio, Americo (5) - 1: ESA-Esrin, Italy; 2: He Space/EUMETSAT, Eumetsat-Allee 1, 64295 Darmstadt; 3: Progressive system, srl; 4: Serco, Spa; 5: DEIMOS c/o ESA/ESRIN, Largo Galileo Galilei 1, Frascati, Italy

    The service is open, free of charge and accessible on line from everywhere.
    In order to be granted access to the service, you need to have EO-SSO (Earth Observation Single Sign-On) credentials. For registration, go to and afterwards, you need to submit an e-mail to G-POD team (write to, requesting the activation of the CryoSat-2/Sentinel-3 service for your EO-SSO user account.
    The service was made available on 10 June 2014 accumulating now more than four years of intense exploitation and usage with studies now published in peer-reviews journals.

Day 2 - 27/02/2019

Welcome coffee

09:00 - 09:20

Subsidence Applications

Chairs: Donnelly, Rory Patrick (EARSC), Reinartz, Peter (DLR German Aerospace Center)

09:20 - 11:00

  • 09:20 - The Role of SAR Interferometry in Infrastructure Monitoring
    Brcic, Ramon; Rodriguez Gonzalez, Fernando; Parizzi, Alessandro; De Zan, Francesco; Eineder, Michael; Zhu, Xiaoxiang - German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

    Download PDF

    The highly accurate measurement of ground motion from space through advanced interferometric time series analysis of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar ) images  has been possible since their first use on ERS (European Remote Sensing satellite) data in the late 1990's. Today, several such methods exist including PSI (Persistent Scatterer Interferometry), SBaS (Small Baseline Subset), DSI (Distributed Scatterer Interferometry) and TomoSAR (Tomographic SAR) with active research still producing hybrid and derivative techniques.

    Current spaceborne sensors deliver products with various ground coverages (tens to millions of square kilometres), resolutions (sub-metre to tens of metres) and access modalities (open, scientific, commercial). The systematic global coverage provided by ESA's Sentinel-1 constellation in Interferometric Wide Swath (IWS) acquisition mode combined with the open data policy has spurred the development of national and even European, i.e. continental scale, ground motion monitoring. In contrast, the TerraSAR-X mission can provide very high resolution (sub-metre) data ideally suited to extremely detailed tomographic analyses of urban areas.

    In this contribution, we will provide examples of what role SAR Interferometry can play in the monitoring of critical infrastructure including road and rail networks, buildings and urban areas as well as the impact of aquifers and underground mining and gas storage.

  • 09:40 - Monitoring of Infrastructure Bsed on German Ground Motion Service
    Lege, Thomas; Kalia, Andre C.; Frei, Michaela - BGR, Germany

    Download PDF

    It is well known to the remote sensing community that advanced differential interferometric SAR processing techniques (A-DInSAR), e.g. Persistant Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) and Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) are able to measure surface motions with high precision, a large spatial coverage and a high spatial density compared to terrestrial measurement techniques. The diverse geology of Germany is the trigger and gives indication of manifold potential surface displacement areas caused by: mining activities, compaction of peat- or marsh soils, mass movements in areas with steep slopes, subrosion related to carbonate rocks and salt structures. All of those pre-conditions have great influence for infrastructure security in a densely populated and highly industrialized country as Germany.

    Nevertheless, in the day-to-day work of state geological surveys, mining administrations, land surveying offices and other federal as well as state administrative bodies the use of A-DInSAR techniques is not widespread, yet. With the free-and-open data policy of Europe’s Copernicus program and the fledging PSI-based German Ground Motion Service (BBD) that is changing. The first consistent Sentinel-1 based nationwide PSI-datasets are now under intense scrutiny by the state geological surveys and other institutions in Germany.

    In order to foster the operational use of this technology and as a part of the validation-process in the framework of the BBD a working circle consisting of the Geological and Mining Surveys as well as Surveying Offices of the 16 German federal states is established. The state experts investigated more than 20 working areas on the base of their experience and administrative responsibilities. The pilot studies were selected in a way that numerous causes for ground motions in quite different environments were covered. Well-experienced geoscientists, mining engineers and land surveyors carefully scrutinize the PSI data from the first nationwide PSI-data sets. In lively workshops, the opportunities and limits of PSI in the context of hazard assessment and monitoring to cope with the day-to-day tasks of state authorities were presented and discussed. Combinations with and complements to traditional methods and higher resolution SAR-data were brought up and this way new application-oriented knowhow is developed on a broad base. It also appeared that it is quite a challenge to use remote sensing data in other highly specialized professional disciplines.

    The presentation will summarize the concept and the implementation of the German Ground Motion Service, highlight specific peculiarities of the dissemination process and shed a light on the chances and limits of PSI-techniques from the standpoint of the daily requirements of end users. Applications e.g. on coastal infrastructure, energy storage, mining facilities and further engineering measures will be shown.

  • 10:00 - CyCLOPS: The Formation of a Strategic Research Infrastructure Unit for Space-based Monitoring of Geohazards and Critical Infrastructure in the Southeastern Mediterranean Region
    Danezis, Chris
    Danezis, Chris (1); Hadjimitsis, Diofantos G. (1); Eineder, Michael (2); Brcic, Ramon (2); Themistocleous, Kyriacos (1); Papoutsa, Christiana (1); Tzouvaras, Marios (1); Nikolaidis, Marios (1) - 1: Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus; 2: German Aerospace Center

    Download PDF

    The Cyprus Continuously Operating Natural Hazards Monitoring and Prevention System, abbreviated CyCLOPS, is a research project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation in the framework of the RESTART 2016 – 2020 programme under the grant agreement INFRASTRUCTURES/1216/0050. The project consortium is formed by the Cyprus University of Technology and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and is further promoted by major local supporters/ stakeholders, such as the Department of Lands and Surveys (DLS), the Geological Survey Department (GSD) and the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC). The mission of CyCLOPS is to establish and maintain a novel strategic research infrastructure (SRI) unit for monitoring natural hazards in Cyprus and the broader EMMENA region. Due to its unique geodynamic and geotechnical regime, Cyprus exhibits a significant number of earthquakes, active landslides and land instabilities that affect the built environment and cultural - natural heritage landmarks. To date, the combined result of geohazards has led to the abandonment of 8 villages, and the destruction of numerous properties and critical infrastructure (i.e. roads and utility networks). Since current monitoring infrastructure is limited to traditional equipment, no thorough research has been carried out to determine ground deformation accurately and at dense spatial resolution. Nevertheless, the emergence of new Earth Observation monitoring techniques provided additional and effective tools to enhance preparedness with respect to the occurrence of geohazards. This was the main incentive behind CyCLOPS. A continuously operating system that will incorporate the use of EO technologies in the civil protection strategy and augment existing infrastructure operated by national stakeholders. CyCLOPS will make use of two of the most prominent space technologies, namely, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) missions in a novel integrated scheme. The system will consist of two main components; a multiparametric network (MPN) of sensors and an Operation Center (OC). The MPN will consist of state-of-the-art, high-rate, Tier-1 GNSS reference stations (CORS), established at selected sites according to the International GNSS Service (IGS) and the European Permanent Network (EPN) specifications. These stations will co-locate with specifically designed SAR Corner Reflectors (CRs) along with numerous heterogeneous sensors, such as weather stations, tiltmeters and seismographs of the national seismological network. CyCLOPS will support the latest European Space missions, namely, Galileo, Copernicus Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X EO SAR sensors. The co-located configuration of GNSS and SAR CRs will provide deformation products at the centimeter accuracy by means of a least-squares calibration process. Finally, the OC will host a multitude of services, such as an atmospheric monitoring web service, a GIS web platform to promote the exchange of useful data, and a sophisticated episodic event notification module to enable efficient warning to all involved parties in order to enhance public safety and protect critical infrastructure. In this scheme, Cyprus will become a dedicated calibration site for current and future space missions, within a framework in line with the European and national priority axes.

  • 10:20 - Best Practices for Use of Remote Sensing in Sustainable Asset Management. 
    Stoppelman, Patrick
    Leezenberg, Pieter Bas; de Vries, Marjan; Stoppelman, Patrick - SkyGeo, Netherlands, The

    Download PDF

    Applications of measuring ground deformation from space (InSAR) for asset management.  We present several best practices of using InSAR deformation data To Monitor assets in a sustainable way.

    3 Examples:
    InSAR for tunnels: best practices of using InSAR deformation data to detect millimeter precise movements of tunnels and their surroundings. Before and during construction. Replacing in situ measurements and transparantly communicating data with many stakeholders
    InSAR for worn infrastructure: Long term monitoring surface deformation of an entire city. Prioritizing and scheduling costly maintenance

    InSAR data for environmental protection: Using historic InSAR data to investigate damage claims related to the effects of groundwater extraction.

    InSAR is relevant because it embodies a bridge to sustainable asset management practices; it is broadly applicable on typical use cases of asset management and it can give a unique 'look in the past'. Remote sensing in general and radar/SAR specifically is booming in ever growing capacities and applications. This overview gives insight into success stories and will discuss innovative life cycle management of infrastructure.

  • 10:40 - Planet Data and Platform for Daily Infrastructure Monitoring
    Griesbach, Rene; Jawad, Athiye - Planet Labs Germany GmbH, Germany

    Download PDF

    No monitoring solution can be successful without reliable data supply. In case of infrastructure monitoring with means of Earth observation technologies data with high spatial and temporal resolution is required, while high radiometric resolution is a benefit.

    Planet owns and operates several constellations of satellites, which are most suitable to meet monitoring requirements: The PlanetScope constellation provides daily coverages with 3-4m ground resolution without any need for tasking. This is highly beneficial for users, as they don´t carry anymore the risk of spending budget for data coverages, when there were no changes of interest. If critical changes were identified, the necessary PlanetScope data can be downloaded directly and immediately from the Planet platform for further analysis. In cases, where a 4 m ground resolution is not sufficient for detailed information collection, Planet´s SkySat constellation can be tasked to take 0.72 m imagery of the area of interest. The SkySat constellation is capable of imaging infrastructure objects twice per day, in static imaging mode, video mode, in stereo mode and in night imaging mode.

    But satellite imaging is only one aspect of successful infrastructure monitoring. Data must be made available in a timely manner and must form long and dense time series with other optical satellite data. This is what Planet´s Platform was built for. Data from different sources, e.g. Sentinel-2, Landsat-8, RapidEye and of course PlanetScope and SkySat are available for search and download. A powerful API solution can be used for large area monitoring. It is equipped with Clip&Ship functionality for optimized data selection and download based on given AOI´s. The Planet EXPLORER is a very convenient tool for users preferring graphical user interfaces.

    Another important aspect is the data processing and information extraction capability. Daily monitoring, especially of large areas, requires tremendous computing power for timely decision making. Planet added and extends analytic capabilities to the data platform, which already today allows for download of derived information products instead of the source data. For example, a suite of vegetation indices is available for the creation of special maps. In future, also land cover classification and more sophisticated change detection algorithms will be added to the platform’s functionality.

    For less time critical monitoring tasks, the Planet platform offers access to Planet base maps, which consist of the best available pixels from daily imaging over a given period of time: weekly, monthly or quarterly. Thus, the monitoring challenge can be freed up from disturbing impacts of clouds, Cloud shadows and haze as much as possible. The optional usage of surface reflectance products may give additional benefits in this regard.

    This presentation focuses on technical and methodological aspects and will illustrate the facts given above along with practical examples and use cases.

Open Discussion on Subsidence Applications

11:00 - 11:20

Coastal, Hydrology, Tunnels, Bridges, Mining and Energy (cont'd)

Chairs: Böhm, Karsten (Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde / Federal Institute of Hydrology), Della Croce, Raffaele (OECD)

11:20 - 11:40

  • 11:20 - Coastal Erosion project within the Science for Society slice of the 5th Earth Observation Envelope Programme of the European Space Agency: end users requirements
    Payo, Andres Garcia
    Ellis, Michael Alexander; Payo, Andres Garcia - British Geological Survey - NOTTINGHAM, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

    Download PDF

    The scope of the Coastal Erosion project (Feb 2019 to Feb 2021) is the development and demonstration of innovative EO products that will be driven by end-user organizations and provided as services to agencies and communities in charge of monitoring coastal change. Innovative products and services will include a scientifically sound validation, a comprehensive user assessment and a representative service roll-out analysis. This project is funded under the Science for Society slice of the 5th Earth Observation Envelope Programme of the European Space Agency and involves end users from the UK (British Geological Survey), Canada (ARCTUS), Ireland (Geological Survey Ireland), Spain (IHCantabria) and France (IGNFI). This consortium led by ARGANS and supported by isardSAT and adwäisEO, will develop innovative approaches that best exploit the novel observational capabilities of the Sentinel 1 constellation with S1A and S1B units currently on operation and the S2 constellation with its S2A and S2B. The Coastal Erosion project will analyse coastal change over of a minimum of 1000 linear km of coast across 3 different member states and Canada, and will provide the best products suited to end-user requirements over the past 25 years. In this presentation we will discuss the issues faced by coastal managers and decision makers, describe the user-needs and potential products, and illustrate the study sites selected by the end-users within this consortium.