Small Reflectors for Ground Motion Monitoring With InSAR

Prabu Dheenathayalan, Miguel Caro Cuenca, Peter Hoogeboom, Ramon F. Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, synthetic aperture radar interferometry has become a recognized geodetic tool for observing ground motion. For monitoring areas with low density of coherent targets, artificial corner reflectors (CRs) are usually introduced. The required size of a reflector depends on radar wavelength and resolution and on the required deformation accuracy. CRs have been traditionally used to provide a high signal-to-clutter ratio (SCR). However, large dimensions can make the reflector bulky, difficult to install and maintain. Furthermore, if a large number of reflectors are needed for long infrastructure, such as vegetation-covered dikes, the total price of the reflectors can become unaffordable. On the other hand, small reflectors have the advantage of easy installation and low cost. In this paper, we design and study the use of small reflectors with low SCR for ground motion monitoring. In addition, we propose a new closed-form expression to estimate the interferometric phase precision of resolution cells containing a (strong or weak) point target and a clutter. Through experiments, we demonstrate that the small reflectors can also deliver displacement estimates with an accuracy of a few millimeters. To achieve this, we apply a filtering method for reducing clutter noise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6703 - 6712
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Artificial corner reflectors (CRs)
  • deformation monitoring
  • infrastructure monitoring
  • interferometric phase precision
  • radar interferometry
  • remote monitoring
  • small reflectors
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

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