Special Issue Editor
The infrastructure network (roads, highways, and railways) represents a connection system of noteworthy importance for the social and economic life of the whole country. Transportation infrastructure plays a significant role in the success of every nation’s economy: Usually, road transport is the primary mode of national transportation, so maintaining a reliable and durable infrastructure is essential to economic growth and social development. The occurrence of geological events such as landslides is one of the main causes of damage along linear infrastructures: Damage to transport infrastructures, such as roads, bridges and railways, can inhibit their optimal function and contribute to traffic accidents. The frequent and accurate monitoring of slope instability phenomena and of their interaction with existing man-made infrastructures plays a key role in risk prevention and mitigation activities. In this way, the use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, characterized by short revisiting times (6–16 days), has been shown to be a powerful tool for a periodical non-invasive monitoring of ground motion and superstructure stability, aimed at improving the efficiency of inspection, repair, and rehabilitation efforts.
In fact, monitoring and control of the Italian infrastructures is demanded of technicians and maintenance teams who detect, by means of visual control, anomalies and failures which could represent a critical condition for users. Such an approach, in addition to representing a relevant rate of owner’s annual budget, could not be effective because of the long time-lapse between in situ data collection and information transfer to the operation center.
The necessity of an effective and quasi real-time approach to monitoring these man-made infrastructures finds in the application of modern remote sensing techniques a valid response with a good cost/benefit ratio. Satellite-based monitoring systems, based on the use of radar images, may offer a viable source of independent information products to support infrastructures health assessments.
Dr. Diego Di Martire
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