Multi-Temporal InSAR for transport infrastructure monitoring: Recent trends and challenges

Valentina Macchiarulo, Pietro Milillo, Chris Blenkinsopp, Cormac Reale, Giorgia Giardina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)
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Worldwide, transport infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to ageing-induced deterioration and climate-related hazards. Oftentimes inspection and maintenance costs far exceed available resources, and numerous assets lack any rigorous structural evaluation. Space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) is a powerful
remote-sensing technology, which can provide cheaper deformation measurements for bridges and other transport infrastructure with short revisit times, while scaling from the local to the global scale. As recent studies have shown the InSAR accuracy to be comparable with traditional monitoring instruments, InSAR could offer a cost-effective tool for long-term, near-continuous deformation monitoring, with the possibility to support inspection planning and maintenance prioritisation, while maximising functionality and increasing the resilience of infrastructure networks.
However, despite the high potential of InSAR for structural monitoring, some important limitations need to be considered when applying it in reality. This paper identifies and discusses the challenges of using InSAR for the purpose of structural monitoring, with a specific focus on bridges and transport networks. Examples are presented to illustrate current practical limitations of InSAR; possible solutions and promising research directions are identified. The aim of this study is to motivate future action in this area and highlight the InSAR advances needed to overcome
current challenges.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Bridge Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • bridge evaluation
  • deformation
  • monitoring
  • safety and hazards
  • settlement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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