Continuous Surveillance of Nuclear Facilities

Imagesat International
USNS Grapple

Continuous Surveillance of Nuclear Facilities

The interest of this service chain is the verification that nuclear material and facilities in the selected sites are used for civil purposes, and the assessment of whether the initial declaration of material and facilities was complete and correct. The focus here is on operational nuclear facilities (as opposed to decommissioned sites).

The activity on such facilities is analysed using Very High Resolution (VHR) optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. These products are integrated using a system which is able to manage multitemporal and multi-type information.


Core products


Volumetric Change Detection Map showing changes to the heights of objects




Multi-temporal Coherence Map showing the removal (or addition) of material to a site




Optical 2D Change Detection Map showing changes between two points in time



Volumetric Change Detection Map

The volumetric 3D change detection map is generated from digital elevation models (DEMs) of two different times, and shows significant changes  in the heights of objects, annotated to the image as “added” (green features) or “removed” (red features). If there are no DEMs available, but Very High Resolution (VHR) stereo image pairs (such as Ikonos, GeoEye, QuickBird or Worldview) are, the DEMs will be generated before performing 3D change detection. The map indicates height discrepancies such as changed building heights, changes to the volume of waste dumps, volume estimations of dug holes, etc.


Multi-temporal Coherence Map

Multi-temporal Coherence (MTC) is obtained by combining two SAR images of different dates. The analysis shows industrial or anthropogenic activities, such as the removal of materials. In MTC maps, red areas correspond to features only detected in the image captured on date1; green areas correspond to features only detected in the image on date2; blue areas indicate features which haven’t changed.


Optical 2D Change Detection Map

Changes to an area are identified by using semi-automated processing methods on VHR optical data. The final product is a raster layer where each feature represents a change which occurred between two dates.


Data Integration

 Service chain products will be integrated into a system which provides access to all available products and information via standard web interfaces. The system is able to integrate and manage multi-temporal and multi-type information (satellite imagery, Open-Source documents, 3D-data information, GIS data).


Service coordination

This pilot service is coordinated by Indra with the efforts of other partners inside the G-MOSAIC project (European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC), German Aerospace Centre (DLR), e-Geos, Joint Research Centre (JRC), TU Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF).



Click the link below to download the service brochure (for both service chains in the Nuclear and Treaties Monitoring domain):

Monitoring of Nuclear Decommissioning Sites - Continuous Surveillance of Nuclear Facilities