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Unsupervised segmentation of polarimetric SAR data using the covariance matrix

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3 Author(s)
Rignot, E. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Chellappa, R. ; Dubois, P.

A method for unsupervised segmentation of polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data into classes of homogeneous microwave polarimetric backscatter characteristics is presented. Classes of polarimetric backscatter are selected on the basis of a multidimensional fuzzy clustering of the logarithm of the parameters composing the polarimetric covariance matrix. The clustering procedure uses both polarimetric amplitude and phase information, is adapted to the presence of image speckle, and does not require an arbitrary weighting of the different polarimetric channels; it also provides a partitioning of each data sample used for clustering into multiple clusters. Given the classes of polarimetric backscatter, the entire image is classified using a maximum a posteriori polarimetric classifier. Four-look polarimetric SAR complex data of lava flows and of sea ice acquired by the NASA/JPL airborne polarimetric radar (AIRSAR) are segmented using this technique

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )