Sinkhole detection, landslide and bridge monitoring for transportation infrastructure by automated analysis of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) imagery

Tasks & Deliverables
Project Reports
Project Team and Partners
Technical Advisory Committee
This project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), investigates the applicability of new commercial remote sensing technology to three transportation-related problems. First, the project addresses the high-risk, high-reward problem of early detection of sinkholes. Then, the same satellite based technology will be used to monitor landslides and bridge settlement. The proposed solutions are fueled by the combination of new millimeter-radar (InSAR) and novel image analysis algorithms developed at the University of Virginia (UVA). A partnership consisting of UVA, the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR), and TRE Canada (the supplier of the data), has been forged to tackle these important transportation application.

In the project, the feasibility of using the remotely sensed data to detect and monitor sinkholes, settling bridges and landslides will be assessed. Automated methods for analyzing the images will be developed and tested in a selected region of Virginia within the I-81 Interstate corridor. The end product of the research will be a suite of software tools that can be used by the state departments of transportation across the U.S. to automatically detect and monitor potential sinkholes, bridge settlement and landslide movement from satellite imagery. It is anticipated that the automated processing tools, in combination with the newly available commercial remote sensing data, will lead to multi-million dollar cost savings in the highway repairs, significant reduction in highway closures and enhanced safety of the traveling public.
Topic revision: r6 - 11 Jan 2016, AndreaVaccari
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