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DEM Generation Combining SAR Polarimetry and Shape-From-Shading Techniques

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3 Author(s)
Xi Chen ; Center for Earth Obs. & Digital Earth, Chinese Acad. of Sci., Beijing ; Chao Wang ; Hong Zhang

Estimation of the polarization orientation angle shifts induced by terrain azimuth slope variations is a recently developed application in radar polarimetry. In general, without any prior knowledge on the terrain, two polarimetric SAR (POLSAR) flight passes are required to derive terrain slopes in perpendicular directions for digital elevation model (DEM) generation. Moreover, we note that SAR intensity is a strong indicator of the range component of the terrain slopes. In this letter, we developed a method for DEM generation requiring only one POLSAR flight pass, by combining orientation angle estimation and a shape-from-shading technique. In particular, when limited POLSAR data are available, this POLSAR technique provides an alternative way for DEM generation. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA/JPL) AIRSAR L-band POLSAR data over Camp Roberts, California, is used to demonstrate the results of the method proposed in this letter, and a DEM derived from simultaneously measured C-band interferometric SAR from NASA/JPL topographic SAR instrument is selected as the comparative ground truth to validate the effectiveness of this single POLSAR method. Analyses and discussions are also included in this letter.

Published in:

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 1 )