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InSAR nationwide monitoring: the Italian box

TRE ALTAMIRA together with E-geos have made thousands of images from the PST project ( Piano Straordinario di Telerilevamento ), which went live in 2008, years prior to the launch of Sentinel-1 satellites. The PST results are now presented in the article: Analysis of surface deformations over the Italian territory by interferometric processing of ERS, Envisat and COSMO-SkyMed radar data.

A forward-looking project. Using InSAR technology and more than 20,000 images from ERS, Envisat and COSMO-SkyMed satellites, the study has mapped unstable areas over Italy, detecting ground deformations due to subsidence, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic activities in a period covering 22 years (1992-2014).

Ground motion was traditionally considered a local phenomenon, and as such, its impact has been handed at a local level. The increasing importance of the need for a regular monitoring has resulted in more and more initiatives moving up to a national level and joining forces with local authorities. A detailed analysis of this nationwide study reveals a huge amount of information on the different phenomena affecting the territory, enabling a better characterisation of vulnerable areas with known instabilities. It provides a more accurate identification and mapping of threatened areas. It can also help establish that areas once considered at risk have recovered their stability.

Land management. The response to the high-priority, societal need of better understanding and mitigating terrain motions affecting our people, territory and economy has to be proactive rather than reacting only after an issue arises.

The new Sentinel-1 era. Today, multi-hazard ground motion studies with InSAR can benefit from the new Sentinel-1 satellite platform, specifically designed for ground deformation monitoring over large areas and operated by ESA.

A near-real time monitoring program of ground deformation. TRE ALTAMIRA is making the transition from historical satellite analyses of radar imagery to a near-real time monitoring programs at a regional and national scale. Up-to-date displacement information is routinely provided to clients relying on our advanced satellite InSAR technique (SqueeSAR™), our broad computing capacity and free access to timely Sentinel-1 images.