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The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument, launched in December 1999 on the NASA EOS Terra satellite, produces images in the red band at 275-m resolution, over a swath width of 360 km, for the nine camera angles 70.5°, 60°, 45.6°, and 26.1° forward, nadir, and 26.1°, 45.6°, 60°, and 70.5° aft. A set of accurate and fast algorithms was developed for automated stereo matching of cloud features to obtain cloud-top height and motion over the nominal six-year lifetime of the mission. Accuracy and speed requirements necessitated the use of a combination of area-based and feature-based stereo-matchers with only pixel-level acuity. Feature-based techniques are used for cloud motion retrieval with the off-nadir MISR camera views, and the motion is then used to provide a correction to the disparities used to measure cloud-top heights which are derived from the innermost three cameras. Intercomparison with a previously developed "superstereo" matcher shows that the results are very comparable in accuracy with much greater coverage and at ten times the speed. Intercomparison of feature-based and area-based techniques shows that the feature-based techniques are comparable in accuracy at a factor of eight times the speed. An assessment of the accuracy of the area-based matcher for cloud-free scenes demonstrates the accuracy and completeness of the stereo-matcher. This trade-off has resulted in the loss of a reliable quality metric to predict accuracy and a slightly high blunder rate. Examples are shown of the application of the MISR stereo-matchers on several difficult scenes which demonstrate the efficacy of the matching approach.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:40 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: Jul 2002