Project GEOLAB and Active Remote Sensing Technology: Delft University of Technology and the application of InSAR to the monitoring of tunnelling-induced settlement

Continuing our series on the use of Active remote sensing technologies in GEOLAB, we look at Delft University of Technology and their application of InSAR to the monitoring of tunnelling-induced settlement.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a radar imaging system that sends radar waves to the Earth’s surface from a satellite. A continuous band-shaped image is obtained by processing the energy reflected from objects on Earth. The distance between satellite and object can be determined based on the time signature of a signal received by the SAR antenna.

The application of InSAR-based monitoring to assessment of tunnelling-induced deformations of buildings was explored by Delft University of Technology, in collaboration with the University of Bath, the University of Houston and Crossrail. The methodology was tested on a 25 km2 area between Paddington and Liverpool Street along the Crossrail twin tunnel route in London, producing a dataset comprising of 72 COSMO-SkyMed images acquired from April 2011 to December 2015. These were subsequently combined to produce a time-series of cumulative deformation over the city of London.

After a comparison between traditional and InSAR monitoring data for the London area  during the Crossrail excavation, the high resolution, high density InSAR-based displacements were used to evaluate the building deformations for several case studies. Results showed how the InSAR time-series product can overcome the lack of ground-based monitoring of building displacements and thus facilitate the application of damage assessment procedures which take the soil-structure interaction mechanism into account.

For more information you can read GEOLAB’s report ‘Remote sensing, geophysics and imaging technology for monitoring and characterisation of geostructures and geomaterials’ by registering on the Knowledge Platform here. 

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