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Terrain elevation mapping results from airborne spotlight-mode coherent cross-track SAR stereo

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3 Author(s)
D. A. Yocky ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; D. E. Wahl ; C. V. Jakowatz

Coherent cross-track synthetic aperture radar (SAR) stereo is shown to produce high-resolution three-dimensional maps of the Earth surface. This mode utilizes image pairs with common synthetic apertures but different squint angles allowing automated stereo correspondence and disparity estimation using complex correlation calculations. This paper presents two Ku-band, coherent cross-track stereo collects over rolling and rugged terrain. The first collect generates a digital elevation map (DEM) with 1-m posts over rolling terrain using complex SAR imagery with spatial resolution of 0.125 m and a stereo convergence angle of 13.8°. The second collect produces multiple DEMs with 3-m posts over rugged terrain utilizing complex SAR imagery with spatial resolutions better than 0.5 m and stereo convergence angles greater than 40°. The resulting DEMs are compared to ground-truth DEMs and relative height root-mean-square, linear error 90-percent confidence, and maximum height error are reported.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 2 )