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1 May 2017 Using TerraSAR-X satellite data to detect road age and degradation
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Analysis of satellite-acquired synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data provides a way to rapidly survey road conditions over large areas. This capability could be useful for identifying road segments that potentially require repair or at least onsite inspection of their condition due to changes in vehicular traffic associated with change in land use. We conducted a feasibility study focused on urban roads near the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) campus in San Antonio, Texas. The roads near SwRI were affected by heavy truck traffic, they were easily inspected, and the age and construction of the pavement was known. TerraSAR-X (TSX) SpotLight (ST) satellite data were used to correlate radar backscattering response to pavement age and condition. Our preliminary results indicate that TSX radar imagery can be useful for detecting changes in pavement type, damage to pavement, such as cracking and scaling, and, occasionally, severe rutting. In addition, multitemporal interferometric analysis showed patches of settlement along two roads south of the SwRI campus. Further development of an automated approach to detect degradation of roads could allow transportation departments to prioritize inspection and repair efforts. The techniques also could be used to detect surreptitious heavy truck traffic in areas where direct inspection is not possible.
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Marius Necsoiu, Nicolas Longepe, Jorge O. Parra, and Gary R. Walter "Using TerraSAR-X satellite data to detect road age and degradation", Proc. SPIE 10188, Radar Sensor Technology XXI, 101881I (1 May 2017);


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