The collaboration with GEORESEARCH started more than one year ago with the launch of the InSAR Competence Center in Salzburg. The project is aimed at developing innovative InSAR applications based on cutting-edge technologies for monitoring alpine areas, which are particularly challenging for data analysis and interpretation.

In 2019, inspired by the success of this cooperation, GEORESEARCH and TRE Altamira (with over 20-year experience in InSAR and monitoring ground motion), took part in the Interreg V-A Italy-Austria 2014-2020 cross-border program, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The intent was to promote the collaboration between Italy and Austria in the fields of research and innovation, nature and culture, institutional capacity, and local development.

The SedInOut project (one of the 25 projects that are part of the Axis 3 program) was conceived with the purpose of developing a methodology for quantifying and characterizing the sediment on slopes. This in turn leads to more sustainable land management based on geo-risk mitigation and sediment recycling.

The project covers 20% of the Austrian territory (19,000 km²) and includes 6 federal states (Salzburg, Tyrol, South Tyrol, Kärnten, Steiermark, Oberösterreich). TRE Altamira has contributed with over 200 Sentinel-1 scenes (from 2015 to present) processed by SqueeSAR®, including time-series analysis for millions of measurement points, covering high-altitude alpine areas with challenging conditions. This contribution to the SedInOut project, combined with the support of GEORESEARCH, culminated with an unprecedented dataset for landslide monitoring in the Austrian Alps.

Enlarged subset showing surface displacement in line-of-sight (LOS). Displacement has been calculated using the SqueeSAR® algorithm with a set of 230 images from October 2015 to June 2020.

The words of Markus Keuschnig, CEO at GEORESEARCH sum up the success of the project as well as a shared vision for the future of InSAR.

“Since we founded the InSAR Competence Center, we are enjoying a successful and fruitful collaboration with TREA with the common goal of developing innovative InSAR applications. We identify the huge benefits that InSAR offers in the field of climate change adaptation. Particularly in the alpine regions, the variation in groundwater levels as well as the increase of natural hazards are often directly related to climate change, and both can be exceptionally well detected and monitored using this cutting-edge technology. In fact, we believe we are only at the beginning of an exciting journey and we look forward to uncovering the full potential of satellite-based InSAR together.”