Special Issue "Multipass Synthetic Aperture Radar for Monitoring the Built Environment and Preservation of the Cultural Heritage"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gianfranco Fornaro
Guest Editor
Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Neaples 80124, Italy
Interests: SAR; interferometric and tomographic SAR; inverse SAR
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Simona Verde
Guest Editor
National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA), Via Diocleziano 328 - 80124 Napoli, Italy
Interests: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) processing; SAR interferometry (InSAR); differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR); SAR tomography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to the monitoring of environmental risk have boosted the investments in the sector. Particularly, satellite platforms hosting advanced SAR sensor able to operate with different illuminating modes and capable of acquiring, repeatedly over the time, data almost everywhere on the Earth surface have been made operational, with an exponential increase in the last decade.

Starting from 2007, the launch of COSMO-SkyMed and TerraSAR-X marked a significant advance for application to the monitoring of the built environment: X-Band SAR sensors, able to enhance considerably the resolution capabilities of satellite imaging radars with Very High Resolution (VHR) modes, were made available to the scientific community. With this regard, even access to data acquired with special sub-metric resolution modes has been provided.

The VHR satellite portfolio has been further enriched by satellite programs of private companies and integrated also by C-Band sensors able to operate VHR modes (e-g, RadarSAT-2 and Gaofen-3).

Today, more than ten years after from the opening of the “VHR era,” many services based on the use of VHR SAR data, acquired over long acquisition intervals with the same illumination geometry (i.e., useful for coherent processing) have been set up. This is the case of the operation interferometric processing chains exploited as monitoring tools of areas subject to natural and anthropic hazards. Nevertheless, research is still expanding to move the frontiers of the applications, especially with respect to the built environment. This involves, for instance, the development of approaches able to overcome the limitations of the imaging geometry for application to the monitoring of the built environment, e.g., urban areas, infrastructures and cultural heritage.

Built environment and cultural heritage worldwide often face environmental and human-induced hazards that can potentially threaten their integrity, security, historical value, and accessibility. In particular, nowadays the preservation of cultural heritage is a strategic priority, not only to assure cultural treasures and evidence of human past for future generations, but also to exploit them as strategic and valuable economic assets to promote sustainable development strategies.

In recognition of the increasing role of SAR technology for built environment monitoring and cultural heritage preservation, this Special Issue aims to highlight the recent advancements and developments of multitemporal SAR processing, including multibaseline interferometric and tomographic processing. In this regard, we solicit papers describing challenging conceptual and practical problems.

With reference to the built environment and cultural heritage, potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Methodologies Exploiting SAR Images
  • Multitemporal SAR Imaging, including Multibaseline InSAR, Advanced DInSAR; Persistent Scatterers Interferometry
  • SAR Tomography Approaches
  • Future Space SAR Missions and New Generations SAR sensors
  • Integration of Multipass SAR data and proximal/in-situ sensing data

Review articles covering one or more of these topics are also welcome.

Dr. Gianfranco Fornaro
Dr. Simona Verde
Guest Editors

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 2400 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.


  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • interferometric SAR (InSAR), SAR interferometry
  • differential interferometric SAR (DInSAR), differential SAR interferometry
  • multibaseliene/multitemporal DInSAR (MB/MT DInSAR), advanced DInSAR (A-DInSAR), persistent scatterers interferometry (PSI)
  • SAR tomography
  • built environment, urban area and infrastructures monitoring
  • cultural heritage

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
On the Assessment of Non-Local Multi-Looking in Detection of Persistent Scatterers Using SAR Tomography
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(19), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193195 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 823
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) tomography has shown great potential in multi-dimensional monitoring of urban infrastructures and detection of their possible slow deformations. Along this line, undeniable improvements in SAR tomography (TomoSAR) detection framework of multiple permanent scatterers (PSs) have been observed by the [...] Read more.
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) tomography has shown great potential in multi-dimensional monitoring of urban infrastructures and detection of their possible slow deformations. Along this line, undeniable improvements in SAR tomography (TomoSAR) detection framework of multiple permanent scatterers (PSs) have been observed by the use of a multi-looking operation that is the necessity for data’s covariance matrix estimation. This paper attempts to further analyze the impact of a robust multi-looking operation in TomoSAR PS detection framework and assess the challenging issues that exist in the estimation of the covariance matrix of large stack data obtained from long interferometric time series acquisition. The analyses evaluate the performance of non-local covariance matrix estimation approaches in PS detection framework using the super-resolution multi-looked Generalized Likelihood Ratio Test (GLRT). Experimental results of multi-looking impact assessment are provided using two datasets acquired by COSMO-SkyMED (CSK) and TerraSAR-X (TSX) over Tehran, Iran, and Toulouse, France, respectively. The results highlight that non-local estimation of the sample covariance matrix allows revealing the presence of the scatterers, that may not be detectable using the conventional local-based framework. Full article
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