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International Journal of Railway Technology
ISSN 2049-5358
IJRT, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2014
Railway Infrastructure Monitoring using Satellite Radar Data
L. Chang, R. Dollevoet and R.F. Hanssen

Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
L. Chang, R. Dollevoet, R.F. Hanssen, "Railway Infrastructure Monitoring using Satellite Radar Data", International Journal of Railway Technology, 3(2), 79-91, 2014. doi:10.4203/ijrt.3.2.5
Keywords: satellite remote sensing, railway infrastructure, radar interferometry.

The feasibility of monitoring the stability of railway infrastructure using dedicated satellite radar observations is demonstrated. These measurements are able to detect mm-level changes in the track geometry with a bi-weekly measurement update and a high spatial resolution by using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) techniques. When deformation of the infrastructure is limited mainly to the vertical and horizontal transversal directions, it is possible to derive the deformation vector. We present a methodology for fine-tuning this technology to railway infrastructure for routine and near-real-time monitoring of spatio-temporal changes in geometry. The precision of the obtained deformation vector components is analyzed and described in terms of the variance-covariance structure. The method is demonstrated on a segment of the Betuweroute, a freight railway from Rotterdam harbour in the Netherlands eastwards, towards Germany, using 248 satellite images from the TerraSAR-X satellite acquired between 2009 and 2013, with a bi-weekly interval.

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