From Concept to Operation - Traffic Infrastructure Monitoring with SAR Interferometry
Traffic infrastructures are important for our society as freight and passengers are transported on roads and railway tracks every day. However, the infrastructures are vulnerable to ground motion which might lead to damage and hinder their optimal function. Monitoring traffic infrastructures help to prevent these damages and related economic losses. InSAR is a satellite-based remote sensing technique to measure the ground motion over wide areas with a high accuracy being sensitive to motion in the range of millimeters to centimeters. However, experience with the operation of InSAR methods and interpreting the results is necessary to exploit the full potential of InSAR. Furthermore, preprocessing and time series analysis are computationally heavy and require large computing facilities. For this reason, german authorities are not yet using InSAR as an operational tool for measuring ground motion. Moreover, authorities require InSAR tools tailored to the monitoring of traffic infrastructures, despite the publicly available ground motion services in Germany and Europe.
In our project SAR4Infra, we develop a continuous monitoring system based on Sentinel-1 InSAR, tailored for traffic infrastructures, particularly railways and highways. The system shall support decision makers in german authorities by providing information about segments of traffic infrastructure at risk. We develop an automatic operational processing chain which will be deployed on the cloud processing platform CODE-DE provided by the DLR to german authorities. The project aims at providing a monitoring system which can be used in the long run. Therefore, we base the analysis on the data from the Sentinel-1 mission with its long archive and data availability in the coming years. Further, we develop open-source software in cooperation with the technology transfer group at GFZ, the FernLab.
In this contribution, we focus on our concept for a continuous monitoring system. First, we will explain the requirements identified so far within the project. Then, design choices specific to the requirements will be presented. Finally, the challenges of InSAR time series analysis for traffic infrastructures in wide-area and its continuous update will be discussed.