Research Programs

Remote and Distributed Sensing



The members of this research program have valuable expertise in different ICT sectors of primary importance for the  development of advanced systems for environmental monitoring and land management. The main goal is to develop scientific activities and applications in some of the key areas of the ICT for the environment. The most relevant technological and methodological components of the research program are: the airborne and satellite remote sensing technology; the signal processing and pattern recognition methodologies; the data fusion techniques; the radar technology; the in-situ sensor technology; and the Geographical Information System (GIS). The main effort of the members of the research group is devoted to the development of scientific activities in the above mentioned areas, and to the integration of the methodologies and technologies in multisensor architectures for defining effective systems for environmental monitoring. The highest effort is devoted to the definition of methodologies for the analysis of remote sensing data, the definition of data fusion approaches to the integration of multitemporal and multisensor images (e.g., SAR data, optical data, etc.), as well as ancillary data acquired by in-situ sensors. Attention is paid to the whole processing chain from data acquisition and pre-processing, to data analysis and data fusion, until product delivery to end-users, and customized services based on GIS platforms.

Research Areas

The airborne and satellite remote sensing represents the most important ad promising technology for Earth observation and environmental monitoring developed in the last decades, and  is the most important part of this research program. Remote sensing allows one to acquire signals and images related to the atmosphere and to the Earth surface showing different characteristics and information content. Data can be acquired at regular intervals from satellite sensors, thus resulting in the possibility to have a constant monitoring of the dynamics of phenomena occurring on the ground. An effective processing of these data results in valuable information in relation to many application areas. Researches are related to multispectral and hyperspectral images, radar and synthetic aperture radar signals, and lidar data. A key component in the research program is related to the image processing, pattern recognition, and data fusion methodologies, which represent the main tool for an efficient extraction of the information necessary to end-users from the remote sensing data. Researches are related to low-level image and signal processing, radar signal processing, image registration and filtering, automatic classification techniques, machine learning, kernel methods, change detection, estimation and regression. Another important technology of the research program is related to the in-situ sensors distributed on the land, which, properly linked in a telecommunication network, can acquire detailed local measurements that prove to be very important for tuning the data acquired by remote sensing in the process of spatialization of the geographic information. Finally, GIS represents the natural platform for archiving and managing all the data acquired and processed by the previous technologies, and for developing customized services for end users.

Applications Areas

This research programme gives primary importance to the application of the scientific results to the real-world problems. In this context, a wide range of applications is considered, including: Agriculture (e.g., crop mapping, monitoring of shifting cultivation, crop disease monitoring, precision farming, etc.); Forestry (e.g., forest mapping, clear-cut monitoring, burned area detection, estimation of biomass, etc.); Monitoring urban areas and antrophic infrastructures (e.g., building detection, urban growth, road network extraction, abusive building detection, etc.); Identification and monitoring of illegal landfills; Monitoring of glaciers and snow; Monitoring of water resources; Civil protection and risk assessment (e.g., fires, floods, landslides, avalanches, etc.); Damage assessment (e.g., fires, floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunami, avalanches, etc.); Land-cover and land-use mapping; Estimation of biophysical parameters; Monitoring of the atmosphere; Planetary (Solar System) exploration.


Faculty Members

Lorenzo Bruzzone (Coord)Begum DemirGian Pietro Picco

Further Information

Technical reports of Research Program
Published papers of Research Program