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The COSMO-SkyMed Constellation Monitors the Costa Concordia Wreck

Earth Sciences Department, University of Firenze, Via La Pira, 4, I-50121 Firenze, Italy
Tele-Rilevamento Europa T.R.E. s.r.l., Ripa di Porta Ticinese 79, I-21149 Milan, Italy
Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Polytechnic University of Milan, Milan 20133, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(5), 3988-4002;
Received: 24 January 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 2 May 2014
PDF [1664 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


On 13 January 2012, the Italian vessel, Costa Concordia, wrecked offshore Giglio Island, along the coast of Tuscany (Italy). The ship partially sunk, lying on the starboard side on a 22° steep rocky seabed, making the stability conditions of the ship critically in danger of sliding, shifting and settling. The tilted position of the ship created also pernicious conditions for the divers involved in the search and rescue operations. It became immediately clear that a continuous monitoring of the position and movements of the ship was of paramount importance to guarantee the security of the people working around and within the wreck. Starting from January 19, the Italian constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, COSMO-SkyMed (CSK), was tasked to acquire high resolution images of the wreck. Thanks to CSK’s short response and revisiting time and its capability to acquire high resolution images in Spotlight mode, satellite data were integrated within the real time, ground-based monitoring system implemented to provide the civil protection authorities with a regular update on the ship stability. Exploitation of both the phase (satellite radar interferometry, InSAR) and amplitude (speckle tracking) information from CSK images, taken along the acquisition orbit, Enhanced Spotlight (ES)-29, revealed a general movement of the translation of the vessel, consistent with sliding toward the east of the hull on the seabed. A total displacement, with respect to the coastline, of 1666 mm and 345 mm of the bow and stern, respectively, was recorded, over the time period of 19 January–23 March 2012. View Full-Text
Keywords: Costa Concordia wreck; COSMO-SkyMed; InSAR; speckle tracking; displacement monitoring; risk management; data downstream service Costa Concordia wreck; COSMO-SkyMed; InSAR; speckle tracking; displacement monitoring; risk management; data downstream service
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Raspini, F.; Moretti, S.; Fumagalli, A.; Rucci, A.; Novali, F.; Ferretti, A.; Prati, C.; Casagli, N. The COSMO-SkyMed Constellation Monitors the Costa Concordia Wreck. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 3988-4002.

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