Infrastructures refer to the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function e.g. public and private physical assets such as roads, bridges, railways, harbors, pipelines, airports, tunnels, etc. In order to insure their proper functioning, infrastructures together with their close neighborhood environment continuously need to be monitored for changes such as physical damages caused by e.g. aging, weathering, quakes, subsidence and flooding.
In this context, Earth Observation (EO) represents an opportunity for innovative research, applications and information services not only to support the planning of new infrastructure but also to support its continued monitoring.
Nowadays, we are entering into a new era for EO science and applications driven by the continuously increasing observation capacity offered by the EU Sentinel missions, the opportunities for science offered by the ESA Earth Explorer missions and the capabilities to look at the past offered by the existing long-term EO data archives. Furthermore, a variety of national and commercial EO missions with unique capabilities especially in the domain of very high-resolution deliver highly valuable information on our urban environments and infrastructures. At the same time, it is clear that for a complete exploitation of the EO Services necessary to satisfy the needs of the industry and public sector, dedicated development efforts are required.
This project gives exactly the opportunity to contribute to the reduction of the existing gaps in the infrastructure management sector by demonstrating that EO data, combined with in-situ data as well as other EO derived products e.g. the ones produced by the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS) can provide a real benefit to End Users. For this reason, the study-logic proposed in the project is fully User-Requirement driven.
The study-logic can be summarized in the following phases: