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Automatic Extraction of Traffic Flows Using TerraSAR-X Along-Track Interferometry

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6 Author(s)
Steffen Suchandt ; German Aerospace Center (DLR), Wessling, Germany ; Hartmut Runge ; Helko Breit ; Ulrich Steinbrecher
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Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offers great potential for the measurement of ground traffic flows. A SAR with multiple receiving apertures aligned in flight direction repeatedly images the same ground area with a short time lag. This allows for an effective detection of moving ground objects, whose range variation translates into an interferometric phase signal between the receiving channels. The high-resolution German SAR satellite TerraSAR-X offers several ways to create multiple along-track apertures. We exploit this to demonstrate satellite-based traffic-flow measurements using along-track interferometry (ATI) and Displaced Phase Center Array techniques. In this paper, we address the usage of different TerraSAR-X ATI modes for data acquisition and describe an automatic near-real-time processing chain for the extraction of traffic information. The performance of this TerraSAR-X traffic processor is significantly driven by incorporating a priori knowledge of road networks. We present examples of automatic traffic detection as well as empirical evaluations thereof using different kind of reference data.

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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 2 )