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Automated Matching of Pairs of SIR-B Images for Elevation Mapping

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4 Author(s)
H. K. Ramapriyan ; Space Data and Computing Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 ; James P. Strong ; Yubin Hung ; Charles W. Murray

During the SIR-B mission in October 1984, a significant number of overlapping synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of various ground areas was collected. This has offered the first opportunity to perform stereo analyses on images from space that cover large ground areas to determine elevation information. This paper presents the preliminary results of an investigation to obtain elevation data from stereo pairs of SIR-B images. First, the accuracy with which elevation information can be derived from SIR-B image pairs is evaluated theoretically. It is shown that elevation accuracy is a function of the slant range resolution, the incidence angles with which the stereo pair is obtained, the accuracies in spacecraft state estimation, and determination of corresponding pixels in the stereo pair. Next, a hierarchical method is developed to match the corresponding pixels. This method involves iterative removal of local distortions and correlations of pairs of local neighborhoods in the two images. Since it is necessary to perform the matching at every pixel in the image, it is very computationally intensive. Therefore, it has been implemented on the Massively Parallel Processor (MPP) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The MPP's speed permits two iterations of this technique to operate on a pair of 512 × 512 images within 7 s. Results of applying this algorithm to SIR-B images of Mount Shasta, CA, are shown. The matching algorithm performs well in regions of the image with significant features.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:GE-24 ,  Issue: 4 )