Recent advances in radar techniques and systems have led to the development of microwave interferometers, suitable for the non-contact vibration monitoring of large structures. In the first part of the paper, the main techniques adopted in microwave remote sensing are described, so that advantages and potential issues of these techniques are addressed and discussed. Subsequently, the results of past and recent tests of full-scale structures are presented, in order to demonstrate the reliability and accuracy of microwave remote sensing; furthermore, the simplicity of use of the radar technology is exemplified in practical cases, where the access with conventional techniques is uneasy or even hazardous, such as the stay cables of cable-stayed bridges.

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