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TRE: 15 years of expertise in InSAR technology

From a small group of satellite radar signal specialists to a company of 45 staff, two offices in Italy and North America and the broadest experience in InSAR data processing for commercial applications.

This year, TRE will be celebrating its fifteenth birthday.
TRE is a commercial company completely dedicated to the development of InSAR technology and the delivery of InSAR products and services. Since its origin in March 2000, TRE has always been at the forefront of satellite InSAR, used to monitor surface deformation from space.

Its expertise was founded on research started in the early nineties at the Politecnico di Milano University and continues today, thanks to hundreds of projects undertaken in a range of sectors (oil & gas, mining, civil engineering to mention a few) and numerous scientific collaborations with ESA, ASI and Academia, both in Italy and abroad.

TRE’s founders were the inventors of the PSInSAR™ technique (1999), which gave rise to the so-called Persistent Scatterer Interferometry. Thereafter, TRE’s tradition of innovation has made it possible to develop a new state-of-the-art technique, namely SqueeSAR™.

The processing of all satellite radar (SAR) images is performed in-house. TRE’s unique Data Processing Centre has been designed to cope with the large amount of data requested for InSAR, PSInSAR™ and SqueeSAR™ processing, guaranteeing high performance, security and scalability for future needs.

TRE’s milestones

  • 1999 PSInSAR™ was patented by the Politecnico di Milano University. It was the first of a family of algorithms now referred to as Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) techniques.
  • 2000 TRE was established in Milan as a POLIMI spin-off company to market PSInSAR™.
  • 2008 TRE founded its subsidiary in North America, TRE Canada.
  • 2010 Continuous investment in research and development led to a new pioneering InSAR algorithm, namely SqueeSAR™.
  • 2012 TRE’s CEO, Alessandro Ferretti, and President, prof. Fabio Rocca, were awarded the ENI prize for their outstanding contribution to the oil and gas sector and the potential impact of PSInSAR™.
  • 2014 Prof. Fabio Rocca received the Chinese Government international sci-tech. cooperation awards 2014.
  • 2014 Alessandro Ferretti’s book “Satellite InSAR Data: Reservoir Monitoring from Space” was published by EAGE (the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineering).

InSAR: market applicability and future perspectives

TRE’s story is paradigmatic of the InSAR evolution in the business world: within a few years, InSAR has been transferred from a highly technical university environment directly to the market.

Today InSAR is penetrating numerous market sectors internationally. It provides oil and gas with precise measurements of surface displacement over producing reservoirs to: optimize field operations, calibrate geo-mechanical models and monitor subsidence or uplift and their possible effect on surface facilities. In mining, it remotely measures ground deformation over all mining surfaces, structures and assets, eliminating the need for the installation of ground equipment. InSAR can also provide important input to all stages of any construction project by identifying unstable areas affected by surface movements and reconstructing their displacement history.

By offering necessary information for a broad range of applications, satellite monitoring by InSAR is a step forward in changing the way we manage activities and detect natural hazards.

Currently there are many radar satellites (with different ground resolution and revisiting time) circling the planet. Sentinel-1 is the latest mission, launched during 2014. In a global scenario of an increasing number of Earth-observing satellites, the availability of robust, long-term satellite datasets opens new possibilities in terms of monitoring and modelling services to better meet our user needs.

Tele-Rilevamento Europa – T.R.E. s.r.l.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 79
20143 Milano – Italia
Tel.: +39.02.4343.121 – Fax: +39.02.4343.1230