Research database

SAT4SHM - Quantifying the effects of Structure-Soil-Structure interaction on structural modal parameters by combining Earth Observation data with on-site dynamic monitoring: an enhanced vibration-based Structural Health Monitoring approach – SAT4SHM

24 months (2023 - 2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
PNRR – Mission 4
Funding body:
Project identification number:
PoliTo role:


Vibration-based Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems aim at predicting the insurgence or deterioration of damages from anomalous variations of the structural modal parameters. For historical and cultural heritage structures these systems stand out among the available approaches thanks to their non-invasiveness, relatively low cost, and ease of installation. These advantages are partially counteracted by the sensitivity of modal parameters to Environmental and Operational Variability (EOV) which can hinder the identification of damages. Additionally, it is frequent practice in SHM to discard the elastic coupling between the structure and the soil by assuming that buildings vibrate as they are fixed at their bases. This assumption neglect also the variation of modal parameters due to the dynamic interaction of closely-space buildings. Overall, these simplifications increase the possibility of anomalies misdetection and the occurrence of false alarms. To overcome the current limitations of Vibration-based SHM, in the SAT4SHM project we propose an integrated framework able to quantify the effect of Structure-Soil-Structure interaction on the dynamic response of buildings by accounting for the dependency of soil properties on environmental parameters. The latter are extracted from available earth observation data in the form of satellite images, thus avoiding the introduction of extra sensing devices on the structures. The proposal includes a work package of coordination and management (WP1), and four technical (WPs). In WP2, we aim at exploiting satellite images to extract soil parameters which can influence the elastic response of soils. The parameters to be analysed include but are not limited to the subsidence (sub), the Land Surface Temperature (LST) and the Soil Water Index (SWI) and use them into a purposely developed constitutive model of the soil. In WP3, we will investigate the effect of such parameters on the Soil-Structure Interaction (SSI) by considering the derived soil model, discussing critically their impact on the structural modal parameters and their effect on vibration-based SHM. In addition, we will derive synthetic dynamic models of the buildings, namely impedance functions, which can effectively provide the forces at the base of a building during its vibration, to be used later in WP4. In WP4, we will extend a recent multiple scattering formulation (MSF) to estimate the modal data of buildings interacting trough an elastic soil. The extension will consist in the consideration of the novel soil model to link remote sensing parameters to the Structure-Soil-Structure Interaction (SSSI) paradigm. Finally, in WP5 we plan to apply the pipeline of steps developed in WP 2-3-4 to two case studies, the Sanctuary of Vicoforte, the largest oval masonry dome in the world, and the Two Towers of the city of Bologna.

People involved



  • Alessandro Marzani, Università di Bologna - Coordinator


ERC sectors

PE8_3 - Civil engineering, architecture, maritime/hydraulic engineering, geotechnics, waste treatment

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 11. Rendere le città e gli insediamenti umani inclusivi, sicuri, duraturi e sostenibili


Total cost: € 224,995.00
Total contribution: € 224,995.00
PoliTo total cost: € 108,014.00
PoliTo contribution: € 108,014.00