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The availability of new high-resolution radar spaceborne sensors offers new interesting potentialities for the acquisition of data useful for the generation of Digital Surface Models (DSMs). Two different approaches may be used to generate DSMs from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data: the interferometric and the radargrammetric one. At present, the importance of the radargrammetric approach is rapidly growing due to the new high-resolution imagery [up to 1 m Ground Sample Distance (GSD)] which can be acquired by COSMO-SkyMed, TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT-2 in SpotLight mode. The defined and implemented model is related to COSMO- SkyMed SpotLight imagery in zero-Doppler geometry; it performs a 3-D orientation based on two range and two zero-Doppler equations, allowing for the least squares estimation of some calibration parameters, related to satellite position and velocity and to the range measure. The model has been implemented in SISAR (Software per Immagini Satellitari ad Alta Risoluzione), a scientific software developed at the Geodesy and Geomatic Institute of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Starting from this model, based on a geometric reconstruction, also a tool for the Rational Polynomial Coefficients (RPCs) generations has been implemented. To test the effectiveness of the new model, a stereo pair over the test sites of Merano (Northern Italy) has been orientated using the rigorous model and the RPCs one, and first results of radargrammetric DSM generation are presented; they display the possibility to reach an overall average accuracy of 3.5 m.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2011