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Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images are affected by multiplicative noise called speckle. This noise makes automatic image classification and image interpretation difficult. Thus, many methods have been developed to remove speckle from SAR images while preserving the useful information of the scene such as texture and geometry. In this letter, a comparison between three different despeckling methods based on a Bayesian approach and Gibbs random fields is made. The used methods are Gauss-Markov random field (GMRF) and autobinomial modeling, which operate in the image domain, and the GMRF approach, which operates in the wavelet domain. Our methods are evaluated with synthetic and real SAR data (TerraSAR-X images). The experimental results show that, with these three methods, the speckle is well removed while structures are preserved; quantitative measures show that the autobinomial method provides the best smoothness and sharpness criteria in real SAR data, while the wavelet-based method generates the smallest bias.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2010