Outreach

Activities

TRB Webinar: Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar for Network-Wide Transportation Infrastructure Monitoring [Description and registration]

RB will conduct a webinar on Monday, November 7, 2016 from 2:00PM to 3:30PM ET that provides an overview of satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technology with a particular focus on transportation infrastructure applications. This webinar will discuss the underlying concepts of satellite radar remote sensing. The presenters will provide examples of using InSAR to monitor roads, bridges, slopes, and sinkholes and a summary of currently available radar systems.
This webinar was organized by the TRB Standing Committee on Geotechnical Instrumentation and Modeling. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor or non-TRB Sustaining Affiliate employees. A certificate for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) will be provided to attendees who register and attend the webinar as an individual.

Agenda:

  1. Theoretical aspects of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technology
  2. Practical examples of InSAR monitoring
  3. InSAR-based geotechnical asset monitoring
  4. Application of net present benefit analysis to InSAR monitoring
  5. Current state of practice - links to data and further reading material
  6. Question and answer

TRB2016 Workshop [Workshop site]

F. Mayer, A. Bohane, T. Oommen, A. Moruza, "InSAR: A Promising New Tool for Network Wide Transportation Infrastructure Monitoring," Workshop 879, Transportation Research Board - 94th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 10-14, 2016
Satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has become a rapidly developing remote sensing technique in the last two decades. It is commonly used for monitoring the earth surface. The main advantage of SAR is to allow the gathering of high resolution data despite the satellite relatively small antenna. Typically, SAR antenna transmits radar pulses very rapidly as the satellite passes along its trajectory. After backscattering from the ground, the amplitude and the phase of the received echo are used to generate synthesized image by taking advantage of the Doppler history recorded by onboard instrumentation. By exploiting the phase information contained within SAR imagery, interferometric SAR (InSAR) can provide very precise measurements of the topography of the observed scene and, through repeated observations, of the occurred changes in elevation. The key to InSAR analysis is phase angle data processing, allowing measurement precision on the order of millimeters. What makes this approach particularly attractive to implement is that typically measurements do not require any ground-based devices and rely on the natural scattering of radar signals off various site features. Practical applications include detection of seismic-induced displacements, landslide monitoring, sinkhole detection, and structure displacement monitoring. InSAR technology has the potential for network-wide assessment of transportation infrastructure.
This workshop will provide an overview of InSAR remote sensing technology with a particular focus on transportation applications. The underlying theoretical concepts of satellite-based radar imaging will be explained. Basic aspects of InSAR data processing, including the interpretation of InSAR results, will be introduced. Data collected from ongoing and recently completed studies will be used to demonstrate the benefits of InSAR technology. Practical examples of monitoring roads, bridges, slopes, and sinkholes will be provided. The workshop will end with a summary of currently available radar systems suitable for infrastructure monitoring and with a listing of InSAR service providers and software packages for data processing.

The workshop will be organized as follows:
PART 1: Theoretical aspects of InSAR technology and its applications to transportation infrastructure monitoring.
Presenter: Dr. Franz Meyer, Associate Professor, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
PART 2: Practical examples of InSAR monitoring at the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Presenter: Adrian Bohane, CEO, TRE Canada Inc.
PART 3: InSAR based geotechnical asset monitoring along transportation corridor.
Presenter: Dr. Thomas Oommen, Assistant Professor, Michigan Technological University.
PART 4: Summary of currently available satellite systems, service providers and software packages.
Presenter: Dr. Franz Meyer, Associate Professor, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
PART 5: Application of benefit/cost analysis to InSAR monitoring.
Presenter: Audrey Moruza, Research Scientist, Virginia DOT.
PART 6: Workshop summary, links to data and further reading material.
Presenter: Dr. Franz Meyer, Associate Professor, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
PART 7: Question and answer session.

Documents under development

A chapter dedicated to the monitoring of infrastructures using InSAR-based technology and showcasing the results obtained by the projects will be included in the "Report on Structural Health Monitoring Technologies for Concrete Structures" currently under development by the 444 - Structural Health Monitoring and Instrumentation committee of the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

Past workshops and invited talks

B. Bruckno, E. Hoppe, S. Acton, and A. Vaccari, "Updates to applications of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar to sinkhole detection and rock slope monitoring (P15-6523)," Workshop: 110 - Sensing Technologies for Transportation Applications, Transportation Research Board - 94rd Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 11-15, 2015

E. Hoppe, B. Bruckno, E. Campbell, S. Acton, A. Vaccari, M. Stuecheli, A. Bohane, G. Falorni, and J. Morgan, "Interferometric synthetic aperture radar applications at the Virginia Department of Transportation (P14-2178)," Workshop: 148 - Sensing Technologies for Transportation Applications, Transportation Research Board - 93rd Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 12-16, 2014 [.ppsx]
This study investigated the feasibility of detecting sinkholes and monitoring slope and bridge displacements through the analysis of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) images. A 1600 km2 (618 mi2) area of interest near Staunton, Virginia, was selected for monitoring with satellite-based radar system. COSMO-!SkyMed Earth orbiting satellites, operating in the X-band frequency, were used to acquire radar images. Data processing was carried out with the SqueeSAR algorithm. The area of interest was monitored for a period of 14 months. Field verifications were carried out on the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) road network. The results, integrated with GIS maps, indicate that InSAR can be successfully applied to detect sinkholes and to monitor transportation infrastructure for small displacements due to heave or settlement. Currently, several Earth orbiting radar satellite systems are available for routine data collection. InSAR technology is now mature and available commercially.

A. Vaccari, M. Stuecheli, S.T. Acton, and B.S. Bruckno, "Monitoring the transportation infrastructure with satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR)," 13th Annual Technical Joint Forum, Geohazards Impacting Transportation in Appalachia, Interstate Technical Group on Abandoned Underground Mines, Harrisonburg, VA, July 30 to August 1, 2013 [.ppsx] [MU link]
Can spaceborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) be used to detect and monitor ground features of interest to the transportation community? Can leading edge satellite-based interferometric products help provide a proactive rather than reactive approach to potentially hazardous phenomena such as sinkhole, landslides and bridge settlements?
Over the last two years we conducted a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration with the goal of answering these questions in collaboration with the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation Research using novel InSAR products provided by our commercial partner: TRE-Canada. As part of this study we developed a feature tracking algorithm designed to detect specific trends in the ground deformation monitored by TRE products capable of achieving sub-centimeter displacement resolution.
We applied our approach to detect ground subsidence potentially indicative of the development of sinkholes within a 40x40km area centered roughly on the locality of Middlebrook in Augusta County, Virginia. This area was chosen for its diversity in geological condition and for historical sinkhole activity. Ground validation of a subset (32) of the detections obtained running our detection algorithm show that 78% of the identified regions showed strong signs of subsidence with a false positive rate of 10%.

A. Vaccari and Q. Sang, "Automated Analysis of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Images for Monitoring the Transportation Infrastructure," 1st West Virginia Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems, Montgomery, WV, May 2, 2013 [.ppsx]
Can spaceborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) be used to detect and monitor ground features of interest to the transportation community? Can leading edge satellite-based interferometric products help provide a proactive rather than reactive approach to potentially hazardous phenomena such as sinkhole, landslides and bridge settlements?
We present the current results of a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration were we address these questions in collaboration with the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation Research using novel InSAR products provided by our commercial partner: TRE-Canada.
In this study we couple the capability of TRE products to achieve sub-centimeter displacement resolution to a feature tracking approach designed to detect specific trends in the ground deformation.

S. Acton, A. Vaccari, M. Stuecheli, B. Bruckno, E. Hoppe, and A. Bohane, "Model for sinkhole detection by InSAR (P13-6215)," Workshop: 135 - Sensing Technologies for Transportation Applications, Transportation Research Board - 92nd Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 13-17, 2013 [.ppsx]

S. Acton, "Investigating Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar for Transportation Infrastructure Monitoring (P12-6176)," Workshop: 184 - Sensing Technologies for Transportation Applications, Transportation Research Board - 91st Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 22-26, 2012 [.ppsx]

Media Coverage

  • Ivan Berger, "Predicting Sinkholes in the Road," IEEE - the Institute, 9 September 2013 [link]
  • Monica Rozenfeld, "Disaster Meets Engineering," TechNews on IEEE.tv [link]
  • Josie Pipkin, "Engineer Seeks to Predict and Mitigate Sinkholes," UVAToday, 11 July 2012 [link]
  • "Professor Scott Acton Develops Sinkhole Risk Technology," ECE News, Spring 2012 [link]
Topic revision: r13 - 30 Oct 2016, AndreaVaccari
 
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