Spaceborne support to post-earthquake operations: detection of sparse man-made features in wide-scale safety inspection

Conference: EUSAR 2010 - 8th European Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar
06/07/2010 - 06/10/2010 at Aachen, Germany

Proceedings: EUSAR 2010

Pages: 4Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Dell'Acqua, Fabio (EUCENTRE, Italy)
Polli, Diego; Ferrari, Stefano (University of Pavia, Italy)

In the immediate aftermath of a major earthquake, in-situ inspection of structures to determine their damage level is vital to prepare a damage scenario and to determine the risk connected to aftershocks. While inspecting urban areas is mainly an organisational matter, in rural areas, the presence and location of sparse man-made structures may not be readily available information. In this context, the use of VHR SAR data may reveal very useful to detect and locate features relevant to the damage inspection. Several techniques have been developed to locate urban areas and urban patches, but their focus was mainly on accurately tracking urban boundaries rather than finding smallest, sparse clusters of buildings. In this paper, the authors build on their experience with the 6th April 2009, Italy earthquake to develop a detection technique focussing on this particular application. The method and the results of preliminary testing on pre- and post-event COSMO/SkyMed images are presented and discussed. The full paper will present more extensive testing and deeper insight into some of the issues touched on in this extended abstract paper.