Special Issue "Advances in Real Aperture and Synthetic Aperture Ground-Based Interferometry"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Pieraccini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Information Engineering (DINFO), University of Florence, Via Santa Marta, 3, Firenze, Italy
Interests: interferometry; microwave sensors; ground-based synthetic aperture radar; ground penetrating radar; radar; radar systems; radar design; synthetic aperture radar

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ground-based radar interferometry, i.e., the application of the principles of the spaceborne  interferometry using a ground-based instrument, is a fast growing research field. Since the first pioneering works that dated back to the early 2000s, ground-based radar techniques have made great strides. Currently real aperture and synthetic aperture ground-based interferometric radar systems are popular geotechnical equipment for detecting the changes on slopes activated by landslides or mines. They are routinely used also for monitoring large structures like bridges, dams, towers, buildings. Worldwide, several commercial companies manufacture interferometric radars.

We would like to invite you to submit articles about your recent research with respect to the following topics.

  • Processing techniques for focusing, co-registering, and unwrapping data acquired through ground-based radar interferometry
  • Processing techniques for mitigating the atmospheric effects in ground-based radar interferometry
  • Design and testing of ground-based interferometric radar systems
  • Remote sensing of landslides, volcanoes, glaciers, snow avalanches, mines, engineered slopes, and infrastructures such as buildings, dams, bridges and towers through ground-based radar interferometry
  • Ground-based radar interferometry as tool for emergency management
  • Review articles covering one or more of these topics are also welcome.
  • Authors are required to check and follow the specific Instructions to Authors, https://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/instructions.

Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Pieraccini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Differential Ground-Based Radar Interferometry for Slope and Civil Structures Monitoring: Two Case Studies of Landslide and Bridge
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(24), 2887; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11242887 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
Ground-based radar interferometry, which can be specifically classified as ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GB-SAR) and ground-based real aperture radar (GB-RAR), was applied to monitor the Liusha Peninsula landslide and Baishazhou Yangtze River Bridge. The GB-SAR technique enabled us to obtain the daily displacement [...] Read more.
Ground-based radar interferometry, which can be specifically classified as ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GB-SAR) and ground-based real aperture radar (GB-RAR), was applied to monitor the Liusha Peninsula landslide and Baishazhou Yangtze River Bridge. The GB-SAR technique enabled us to obtain the daily displacement evolution of the landslide, with a maximum cumulative displacement of 20 mm in the 13-day observation period. The virtual reality-based panoramic technology (VRP) was introduced to illustrate the displacement evolutions intuitively and facilitate the following web-based panoramic image browsing. We applied GB-RAR to extract the operational modes of the large bridge and compared them with the global positioning system (GPS) measurement. Through full-scale test and time-frequency result analysis from two totally different monitoring methods, this paper emphasized the 3-D display potentiality by combining the GB-SAR results with VRP, and focused on the detection of multi-order resonance frequencies, as well as the configure improvement of ground-based radars in bridge health monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Processing Chain for Real-Time Ground-Based SAR (RT-GBSAR) Deformation Monitoring
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(20), 2437; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202437 - 20 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Due to the high temporal resolution (e.g., 10 s) required, and large data volumes (e.g., 360 images per hour) that result, there remain significant issues in processing continuous ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) data. This includes the delay in creating displacement maps, the [...] Read more.
Due to the high temporal resolution (e.g., 10 s) required, and large data volumes (e.g., 360 images per hour) that result, there remain significant issues in processing continuous ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) data. This includes the delay in creating displacement maps, the cost of computational memory, and the loss of temporal evolution in the simultaneous processing of all data together. In this paper, a new processing chain for real-time GBSAR (RT-GBSAR) is proposed on the basis of the interferometric SAR small baseline subset concept, whereby GBSAR images are processed unit by unit. The outstanding issues have been resolved by the proposed RT-GBSAR chain with three notable features: (i) low requirement of computational memory; (ii) insights into the temporal evolution of surface movements through temporarily-coherent pixels; and (iii) real-time capability of processing a theoretically infinite number of images. The feasibility of the proposed RT-GBSAR chain is demonstrated through its application to both a fast-changing sand dune and a coastal cliff with submillimeter precision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Dynamic Impact Factor Assessment of Railway Bridges through a Radar Interferometer
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(19), 2207; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11192207 - 21 Sep 2019
Abstract
The dynamic impact factor (IM) is a widely accepted parameter to account for the effect of vehicles on bridges. An accurate evaluation of this IM is of paramount importance in bridge engineering, both for designing safe and economical new bridges, and for the [...] Read more.
The dynamic impact factor (IM) is a widely accepted parameter to account for the effect of vehicles on bridges. An accurate evaluation of this IM is of paramount importance in bridge engineering, both for designing safe and economical new bridges, and for the assessment of the existing ones. At the state of the art, the current procedure for the experimental assessment of the IM of a bridge relies upon the deployment of a sensor network. The aim of this article is to propose the use of a remote sensor, the interferometric radar, for assessing the IM without the deployment of any sensor on the bridge, with evident advantages in terms of cost, time and safety of the workers. Two different case studies of bridges in Northern Iran are reported. In both cases the interferometric radar has been demonstrated an effective and reliable measurement equipment for this kind of in-field assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Passive Bistatic Ground-Based Synthetic Aperture Radar: Concept, System, and Experiment Results
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(15), 1753; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11151753 - 25 Jul 2019
Abstract
A passive bistatic ground-based synthetic aperture radar (PB-GB-SAR) system without a dedicated transmitter has been developed by using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware for local-area high-resolution imaging and displacement measurement purposes. Different from the frequency-modulated or frequency-stepped continuous wave signal commonly used by GB-SAR, the [...] Read more.
A passive bistatic ground-based synthetic aperture radar (PB-GB-SAR) system without a dedicated transmitter has been developed by using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware for local-area high-resolution imaging and displacement measurement purposes. Different from the frequency-modulated or frequency-stepped continuous wave signal commonly used by GB-SAR, the continuous digital TV signal broadcast by a geostationary satellite has been adopted by PB-GB-SAR. In order to increase the coherence between the reference and surveillance channels, frequency and phase synchronization of multiple low noise blocks (LNBs) has been conducted. Then, the back-projection algorithm (BPA) and the range migration algorithm (RMA) have been modified for PB-GB-SAR to get the focused SAR image. Field experiments have been carried out to validate the designed PB-GB-SAR system and the proposed methods. It has been found that different targets within 100 m (like the fence, light pole, tree, and car) can be imaged by the PB-GB-SAR system. With a metallic plate moved on a positioner, it has been observed that the displacement of the target can be estimated by PB-GB-SAR with submillimeter accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ku Band Terrestrial Radar Observations by Means of Circular Polarized Antennas
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(3), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030270 - 30 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper reports some experimental results obtained by means of a commercial apparatus used by many researchers and users, where a pair of novel and specifically developed circular polarized antennas, designed to operate with Ku band-terrestrial radar interferometers, are used alternatively to the [...] Read more.
This paper reports some experimental results obtained by means of a commercial apparatus used by many researchers and users, where a pair of novel and specifically developed circular polarized antennas, designed to operate with Ku band-terrestrial radar interferometers, are used alternatively to the most conventional linear vertical polarized horns provided by the manufacturer of the apparatus. These radar acquisitions have been carried out to investigate for the first time the potential of circular polarization (CP) configurations for terrestrial radar interferometers (TRI) applications, aiming at improving monitoring of landslides, mines, and semi-urban areas. The study tries to evaluate whether the circular polarization response of natural and man-made targets can improve the interpretation of the radar images, with respect to the standard approach used in terrestrial radar interferometry, usually carried out in co-polar vertical polarization. The goal is to investigate how different polarization combinations, in terrestrial radar interferometry, affect the coherence and amplitude dispersion of natural media, potentially improving the identification of stable scatter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geometric, Environmental and Hardware Error Sources of a Ground-Based Interferometric Real-Aperture FMCW Radar System
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 2070; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10122070 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Ground-based interferometric radar systems have numerous environmental monitoring applications in geoscience. Development of a relatively simple ground-based interferometric real-aperture FMCW radar (GB-InRAR) system that can be readily deployed in field without an established set of corner reflectors will meet the present and future [...] Read more.
Ground-based interferometric radar systems have numerous environmental monitoring applications in geoscience. Development of a relatively simple ground-based interferometric real-aperture FMCW radar (GB-InRAR) system that can be readily deployed in field without an established set of corner reflectors will meet the present and future need for real-time monitoring of the expected increased number of geohazard events due to climate changes. Several effects affect electromagnetic waves and limit the measurement accuracy, and a careful analysis of the setup of the deployed radar system in field is essential to achieve adequate results. In this paper, we present radar measurement of a moving square trihedral corner reflector from experiments conducted in both the field and laboratory, and assess the error sources with focus on the geometry, hardware and environmental effects on interferometric and differential interferometric measurements. A theoretical model is implemented to assess deviations between theory and measurements. The main observed effects are variations in radio refractivity, multipath interference and inter-reflector interference. Measurement error due to radar hardware and the environment are analyzed, as well as how the geometry of the measurement setup affects the nominal range-cell extent. It is found that for this experiment the deviation between interferometry and differential interferometry is mainly due to variations in the radio refractivity, and temperature-induced changes in the electrical length of the microwave cables. The results show that with careful design and analysis of radar parameters and radar system geometry the measurement accuracy of a GB-InRAR system without the use of deployed corner reflectors is comparable to the accuracy of differential interferometric measurements. A GB-InRAR system can therefore be used during sudden geo-hazard events without established corner reflector infrastructure, and the results are also valid for other high-precision interferometric radar systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Compressive Sensing for Ground Based Synthetic Aperture Radar
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 1960; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10121960 - 05 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Compressive sensing (CS) is a recent technique that promises to dramatically speed up the radar acquisition. Previous works have already tested CS for ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) performing preliminary simulations or carrying out measurements in controlled environments. The aim of this article [...] Read more.
Compressive sensing (CS) is a recent technique that promises to dramatically speed up the radar acquisition. Previous works have already tested CS for ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) performing preliminary simulations or carrying out measurements in controlled environments. The aim of this article is a systematic study on the effective applicability of CS for GBSAR with data acquired in real scenarios: an urban environment (a seven-storey building), an open-pit mine, and a natural slope (a glacier in the Italian Alps). The authors tested the most popular sets of orthogonal functions (the so-called ‘basis’) and three different recovery methods (l1-minimization, l2-minimization, orthogonal pursuit matching). They found that Haar wavelets as orthogonal basis is a reasonable choice in most scenarios. Furthermore, they found that, for any tested basis and recovery method, the quality of images is very poor with less than 30% of data. They also found that the peak signal–noise ratio (PSNR) of the recovered images increases linearly of 2.4 dB for each 10% increase of data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Pol Transponder with Frequency Shifter for Bistatic Ground-Based Synthetic Aperture Radar
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1364; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091364 - 28 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) systems are popular remote sensing instruments for detecting the ground changes of landslides, glaciers, and open pits as well as for detecting small displacements of large structures, such as bridges and dams. Recently (2017), a novel mono/bistatic GBSAR [...] Read more.
Ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) systems are popular remote sensing instruments for detecting the ground changes of landslides, glaciers, and open pits as well as for detecting small displacements of large structures, such as bridges and dams. Recently (2017), a novel mono/bistatic GBSAR configuration was proposed to acquire two different components of displacement of the targets in the field of view. This bistatic configuration relies on a transponder that consists—in its basic implementation—of just two antennas and an amplifier. The aim of this article was to design and experimentally test an improved transponder with cross-polarized antennas and frequency shifter that is able to prevent possible oscillations even at very high gain, as required in long-range applications. The transponder was successfully field-tested, and its measured gain was 91 dB gain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multipath Interferences in Ground-Based Radar Data: A Case Study
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121260 - 05 Dec 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Multipath interference can occur in ground-based radar data acquired with systems with a large antenna beam width in elevation in an upward looking geometry, where the observation area and the radar are separated by a reflective surface. Radiation reflected at this surface forms [...] Read more.
Multipath interference can occur in ground-based radar data acquired with systems with a large antenna beam width in elevation in an upward looking geometry, where the observation area and the radar are separated by a reflective surface. Radiation reflected at this surface forms a coherent overlay with the direct image of the observation area and appears as a fringe-like pattern in the data. This deteriorates the phase and intensity data and therefore can pose a considerable disadvantage to many ground-based radar measurement campaigns. This poses a problem for physical parameter retrieval from backscatter intensity and polarimetric data, absolute and relative calibration on corner reflectors, the generation of digital elevation models from interferograms and in the case of a variable reflective surface, differential interferometry. The main parameters controlling the interference pattern are the vertical distance between the radar antennas and the reflective surface, and the reflectivity of this surface. We used datasets acquired in two different locations under changing conditions as well as a model to constrain and fully understand the phenomenon. To avoid data deterioration in test sites prone to multipath interference, we tested a shielding of the antennas preventing the radar waves from illuminating the reflective surface. In our experiment, this strongly reduced but did not completely prevent the interference. We therefore recommend avoiding measurement geometries prone to multipath interferences. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Ground-Based Radar Interferometry: A Bibliographic Review
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(9), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11091029 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Ground-based/terrestrial radar interferometry (GBRI) is a scientific topic of increasing interest in recent years. This article is a bibliographic review, as much complete as possible, of the scientific papers/articles published in the last 20 years, since the pioneering works in the nineties. Some [...] Read more.
Ground-based/terrestrial radar interferometry (GBRI) is a scientific topic of increasing interest in recent years. This article is a bibliographic review, as much complete as possible, of the scientific papers/articles published in the last 20 years, since the pioneering works in the nineties. Some statistics are reported here about the number of publications in the years, popularity of applications, operative modalities, operative bands. The aim of this review is also to identify directions and perspectives. In the opinion of authors, this type of radar systems will move forward faster modulations, wider view angle, MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) systems and radar with capability to detect the vector of displacement and not only a single component. Full article
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