WISE - Wide-area Sentinel-1 Deformation Classification for Advanced Data Exploitation

Start: 15/12/2022
End: 15/12/2024
Funding: European, Industrial
Status: On going
Research unit:
Geomatics (GM)
Acronym: WISE
Code: 4000139883/22/I-DT-lr

The WISE (Wide-Area Sentinel-1 Deformation Classification for Advanced Data Exploitation) project focuses on developing advanced tools to exploit the large amount of satellite-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. This project is sponsored by the European Space Agency under the Living Planet Fellowship 2022 awarded to Dr Riccardo Palamà.

The thematic area covered by this project is the study of the ground displacements induced by different phenomena, affecting the natural and the built environment. The deformation will be derived using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI). The project shall produce maps of labelled deformation areas, geo-located and categorized by their type. This is key to perform a systematic and comprehensive exploitation of deformation datasets over wide areas.

A relevant data source will be the European Ground Motion Service (EGMS), part of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Services, based on Sentinel-1 PSI data. The data analysis proposed in WISE unfolds following a rigorous processing chain. First, active deformation areas (ADAs) will be detected employing a statistical hypothesis test. This operation yields clusters of pixels whose deformation time series are correlated in both space and time. Second, the project shall develop automatic classification methods for the ADAs detected. The features necessary to uniquely define a deformation class will be identified, then machine learning classifiers will yield the first set of labelled deformation areas. The classification technique will exploit the temporal information associated with the persistent scatterers, hence classifiers using one or more memory layer will be employed to underpin this information. The novelty of such methods will be manifold, as they have been little utilised in the Earth Observation domain, and certainly not over an area as wide as Europe.

The developed algorithms will be tested on SAR data collected over smaller areas of interest by different sensors, such as COSMO-SkyMed and TerraSAR-X.

The main output will be a European database containing labelled deformation areas: a useful product for several end users of ground motion data, e.g. Civil Protection actors and risk management entities. Such a product will support the exploitation of the products of EGMS, Sentinel-1 and other SAR mission.

Riccardo Palamà
PI/Project Leader
European Space Agency
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