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Special Issue "Microwave Remote Sensing and Applications: New Challenges of the Earth Observation (EO) Technology for the Building of a More Resilient Society to Natural Disasters"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 December 2021) | Viewed by 7592

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The exploitation of Earth Observation (EO) methodologies, based on the use of instruments operating at the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, presently represents a common practice in the scientific community. The development of new remote sensing techniques as well as the consolidation of the well-established ones is currently favored by the increasing amount of EO data collected by several sensors mounted onboard to space and/or aerial vectors that have been emerging over recent years. New added-value products, based on the processing of such large amount of data by means of innovative high-computing paradigms, are expected to be put in place to afford the emerging demands of the society, in terms of monitoring and protection of the natural heritage. In this framework, integrated approaches based on the use of radar data at different wavelengths, also potentially complemented with multispectral data collected in the optical/infrared bands, may help in having new information on the state of the Earth’s environment, including the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, the oceans, and the coastal regions. Among others, the new challenges of the society where EO technologies may give an essential contribution are those connected to the enhancement of the social resilience to natural and human-induced disasters, the detection and prevention of risks conditions for the population, and the study of the atmosphere and ocean current mechanisms.

This Special Issue is open to all researchers. Papers are solicited on the following general themes:

- The exploitation of the existing and planned EO missions to perform extended investigations of the Earth’s environment changes;

- Microwave remote sensing applications: New instruments and acquisition modes;

- Advances of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technologies, with an emphasis on: (i) the methods for the estimation of the atmospheric disturbances in InSAR interferograms, (ii) the measurement of the soil moisture, (iii) the use of full-pol SAR/InSAR data, and (iv) the coherent change detection;

- The potential of new-generation SAR instruments onboard principal spaceborne platforms: the Sentinel constellation of the European Union, the COSMO-SkyMed constellations of the Italian Space Agency, the ALOS-2 mission of the Japanese Space Agency, the TerraSAR-X constellation operated by DLR, and the Argentinian SAOCOM sensor’s constellation;

- High Performance Computing (HPC) InSAR/SAR data processing;

- Study of the Earth’s atmosphere and the ocean’s currents;

- Study of the climate change and the sea-level-rise in coastal regions;

- Exploitation of EO data for the building of a more resilient society to natural and human-induced disasters;

- Geophysical Investigations in areas subjected to natural disasters: the role of current and forthcoming EO missions;

- Integration of information provided through space-, aerial-, and terrestrial-based EO data systems;

- Use of radar instruments for exploration of the Solar system bodies.

Dr. Antonio Pepe
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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.

Keywords

  • microwave
  • synthetic aperture radar
  • InSAR
  • space
  • high-performance computing
  • cutting-edge technologies
  • city resilience
  • atmosphere
  • ocean
  • geodesy
  • new instruments

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
A GPU-Parallel Image Coregistration Algorithm for InSar Processing at the Edge
Sensors 2021, 21(17), 5916; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21175916 - 02 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
Image Coregistration for InSAR processing is a time-consuming procedure that is usually processed in batch mode. With the availability of low-energy GPU accelerators, processing at the edge is now a promising perspective. Starting from the individuation of the most computationally intensive kernels from [...] Read more.
Image Coregistration for InSAR processing is a time-consuming procedure that is usually processed in batch mode. With the availability of low-energy GPU accelerators, processing at the edge is now a promising perspective. Starting from the individuation of the most computationally intensive kernels from existing algorithms, we decomposed the cross-correlation problem from a multilevel point of view, intending to design and implement an efficient GPU-parallel algorithm for multiple settings, including the edge computing one. We analyzed the accuracy and performance of the proposed algorithm—also considering power efficiency—and its applicability to the identified settings. Results show that a significant speedup of InSAR processing is possible by exploiting GPU computing in different scenarios with no loss of accuracy, also enabling onboard processing using SoC hardware. Full article
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Article
Implementation of Non-Linear Non-Parametric Persistent Scatterer Interferometry and Its Robustness for Displacement Monitoring
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21031004 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1653
Abstract
To derive surface displacement, interferometric stacking with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data is commonly used, and this technique is now in the implementation phase in the real world. Persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) is one of the most universal approaches among in- terferometric stacking [...] Read more.
To derive surface displacement, interferometric stacking with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data is commonly used, and this technique is now in the implementation phase in the real world. Persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) is one of the most universal approaches among in- terferometric stacking techniques, and non-linear non-parametric PSI (NN-PSI) was proposed to overcome the drawbacks of PSI approaches. The estimation of the non-linear displacements was successfully conducted using NN-PSI. However, the estimation of NN-PSI is not always stable with certain displacements because wider range of the velocity spectrum is used in NN-PSI than the conventional approaches; therefore, a calculation procedure and parameter optimization are needed to consider. In this paper, optimized parameters and procedures of NN-PSI are proposed, and real data processing with Sentinel-1 in the Kanto region in Japan was conducted. We confirmed that the displacement estimation was comparable to the measurement of the permanent global positioning system (GPS) stations, and the root mean square error between the GPS measurement and NN-PSI estimation was less than 3 mm in two years. The displacement over 2π ambiguity, which the conventional PSI approach wrongly reconstructed, was also quantitatively validated and successfully estimated by NN-PSI. As a result of the real data processing, periodical displacements were also reconstructed through NN-PSI. We concluded that the NN-PSI approach with the proposed parameters and method enabled the estimation of several types of surface displacements that conventional PSI approaches could not reconstruct. Full article
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Article
Ground Displacement in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, Revealed by L-band and C-band InSAR Analyses
Sensors 2020, 20(23), 6913; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20236913 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2249
Abstract
Iran, as a semi-arid and arid country, has a water challenge in the recent decades and underground water extraction has been increased because of improper developments in the agricultural sector. Thus, detection and measurement of ground subsidence in major plains is of great [...] Read more.
Iran, as a semi-arid and arid country, has a water challenge in the recent decades and underground water extraction has been increased because of improper developments in the agricultural sector. Thus, detection and measurement of ground subsidence in major plains is of great importance for hazard mitigation purposes. In this study, we carried out a time series small baseline subset (SBAS) interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) analysis of 15 L-band PALSAR-2 images acquired from ascending orbits of the ALOS-2 satellite between 2015 and 2020 to investigate long-term ground displacements in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. We found that two major parts of the study area (Tabriz and Shabestar plains) are subsiding, where the mean and maximum vertical subsidence rates are −10 and −98 mm/year, respectively. The results revealed that the visible subsidence patterns in the study area are associated with either anthropogenic activities (e.g., underground water usage) or presence of compressible soils along the Tabriz–Shabestar and Tabriz–Azarshahr railways. This implies that infrastructure such as railways and roads is vulnerable if progressive ground subsidence takes over the whole area. The SBAS results deduced from L-band PALSAR-2 data were validated with field observations and compared with C-band Sentinel-1 results for the same period. The C-band Sentinel-1 results showed good agreement with the L-band PALSAR-2 dataset, in which the mean and maximum vertical subsidence rates are −13 and −120 mm/year, respectively. For better visualization of the results, the SBAS InSAR velocity map was down-sampled and principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on ~3600 randomly selected time series of the study area, and the results are presented by two principal components (PC1 and PC2). Full article
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Article
Implementation of a Phase Synchronization Scheme Based on Pulsed Signal at Carrier Frequency for Bistatic SAR
Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3188; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20113188 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Phase synchronization is one of the key technical challenges and prerequisites for the bistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system, which can form a single-pass interferometry system to perform topographic mapping. In this paper, an advanced phase synchronization scheme based on a pulsed signal [...] Read more.
Phase synchronization is one of the key technical challenges and prerequisites for the bistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system, which can form a single-pass interferometry system to perform topographic mapping. In this paper, an advanced phase synchronization scheme based on a pulsed signal at carrier frequency is proposed for a bistatic SAR system and it is verified by a ground validation system. In the proposed phase synchronization scheme, the pulsed signal at carrier frequency is used for phase synchronization link, and it is exchanged by virtue of a time slot between radar signals. The feasibility of the scheme is proven by theoretical analysis of various factors affecting the performance of phase synchronization, and the reliability of the scheme is verified by the test results of the ground validation system. Full article
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