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Generalized minimum-error thresholding for unsupervised change detection from SAR amplitude imagery

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2 Author(s)
G. Moser ; Dept. of Biophys. & Electron. Eng., Genoa Univ., Italy ; S. B. Serpico

The availability of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data offers great potential for environmental monitoring due to the insensitiveness of SAR imagery to atmospheric and sunlight-illumination conditions. In addition, the short revisit time provided by future SAR-based missions will allow a huge amount of multitemporal SAR data to become systematically available for monitoring applications. In this paper, the problem of detecting the changes that occurred on the ground by analyzing SAR imagery is addressed by a completely unsupervised approach, i.e., by developing an automatic thresholding technique. The image-ratioing approach to SAR change detection is adopted, and the Kittler and Illingworth minimum-error thresholding algorithm is generalized to take into account the non-Gaussian distribution of the amplitude values of SAR images. In particular, a SAR-specific parametric modeling approach for the ratio image is proposed and integrated into the thresholding process. Experimental results, which confirm the accuracy of the method for real X-band SAR and spaceborne imaging radar C-band images, are presented

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 10 )