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Ortho-Rectification and Slope Correction of SAR Data Using DEM and Its Accuracy Evaluation

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1 Author(s)
Masanobu Shimada ; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Earth Observation Research Center (EORC), Tsukuba, Japan

This paper proposes an accurate ortho-rectification and slope correction method for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images using a digital elevation model (DEM). Since SAR observation is performed in the squint condition, the image is distorted both geometrically and radiometrically (e.g., through foreshortening, range and azimuth shift, layover, radiometric modulation associated with slope, and shadowing). Furthermore, the pixel height cannot be retrieved directly even when orbital data are accurate. The proposed method calculates the geometric and radiometric distortion components from a comparative process between the DEM-based Simulated SAR Image (DSSI) and the SAR slant range image. When applied to Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array Type L-band SAR (PALSAR) data, the geometric accuracy of the ortho-rectified SAR image at the off-nadir angle of 34.3° was high, with a Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 11.9 m when evaluated against Ground Control Points (GCPs) deployed globally. The slope correction effectively reduced the radiometric variation caused by the terrain height variation. The proposed method can be applied to a range of SAR data to support a diversity of applications.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )