ANALYSIS OF X-BAND VERY HIGH RESOLUTION PERSISTENT SCATTERER INTERFEROMETRY DATA OVER URBAN AREAS
Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) is a satellite-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing technique used to measure and monitor land deformation from a stack of interferometric SAR images. This work concerns X-band PSI and, in particular, PSI based on very high resolution (VHR) StripMap CosmoSkyMed and TerraSAR-X SAR imagery. In fact, it mainly focuses on the technical aspects of deformation measurement and monitoring over urban areas. A key technical aspect analysed in this paper is the thermal expansion component of PSI observations, which is a result of temperature differences in the imaged area between SAR acquisitions. This component of PSI observations is particularly important in the urban environment. This is an interesting feature of PSI, which can be surely used to illustrate the high sensitivity of X-band PSI to very subtle displacements.
Thermal expansion can have a strong impact on the PSI products, especially on the deformation velocity maps and deformation time series, if not properly handled during the PSI data processing and analysis, and a comprehensive discussion of this aspect will be provided in this paper. The importance of thermal expansion is related to the fact that the PSI analyses are often performed using limited stacks of images, which may cover a limited time period, e.g. several months only. These two factors (limited number of images and short period) make the impact of a non-modelled thermal expansion particularly critical. This issue will be illustrated considering different case studies based on TerraSAR-X and CosmoSkyMed PSI data. Besides, an extended PSI model which alleviates this problem will be described and case studies from the Barcelona metropolitan area will demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed strategy.