Categories: Spatial Analysis

Using Remote Sensing to Detect Structural Changes in Bridges

Researchers are using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) collected from satellites to detect structural changes in bridges.  Using data derived from satellite imagery, this analysis can potentially detect subtle changes that indicate a bridge’s deterioration not visible to the naked eye.

Ad

The Morandi Bridge, near Genoa, Italy, collapsed in August of 2018, killing dozens of people.  Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory compared synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements from several different satellites dating back to 2003 in order to measure the structural displacement of the bridge over time.  This analysis let the researchers measure millimeter-size changes to the bridge. Analysis showed that as early as 2015, the deck next to where the bridge collapsed was showing signs of displacement.  Researchers were also able to measure changes to the bridges structure in 2017 and 2018 that might have indicated a degradation in the bridge’s stability.

The Morandi bridge before collapse. (A) Two-dimensional structural scheme of the bridge. From West to East, the bridge includes two single piers (1 to 2), six V-shaped piers (3 to 8) and three independent balanced systems (9 to 11). Dimensions in meters. (B) Three-dimensional view of the bridge. Image: Milillo et al., 2019.

The results of the analysis are promising as a method for measuring subtle changes that could portend a hazardous deterioration of a bridge’s structure.  The analysis currently can only be done for bridges that have been continuously covered by satellites collected SAR data.

The study:

Milillo, P., Giardina, G., Perissin, D., Milillo, G., Coletta, A., & Terranova, C. (2019). Pre-Collapse Space Geodetic Observations of Critical Infrastructure: The Morandi Bridge, Genoa, Italy. Remote Sensing, 11(12), 1403. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11121403

More: New Method Can Spot Failing Infrastructure from Space, NASA

Related:

Ad:
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

The Critical Role of GIS in NG9-1-1

Drew Fioranelli, GISP, Public Safety GIS Market Maker, and Annie Cahill, Public Safety GIS Technical Manager with DATAMARK, discuss the…

November 11, 2019

GIS Day and PostGIS Day Coming Up

This year marks the 20th anniversary of GIS Day on November 13, 2019. The following day is PostGIS Day.

November 11, 2019

Mapping the Subsea Forests of the Mediterranean

Inge van den Meiracker writes about her research internship in Greece where she modeled and mapped the seagrass distribution in…

November 9, 2019

PennVet Uses GIS to Identify Disease Hot Spots

Dr. Meghann Pierdon with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine has developed a secure website that using GIS to…

November 7, 2019

New Report Values Economic Benefits of Landsat Archive at $3.45 billion

A newly released report from the USGS has estimated the 2017 domestic and international economic benefits of Landsat imagery  to…

November 4, 2019

GIS Success: Geospatial Career and Management Webinars

Three GIS industry veterans, Toby Soto, Wade Kloos, and Tim Nolan, offer their decades of experience to help others in this…

November 3, 2019