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Cloud tracking by scale space classification

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2 Author(s)
Mukherjee, D.P. ; Electron. & Commun. Sci. Unit, Indian Stat. Inst., Calcutta, India ; Acton, S.T.

The problem of cloud tracking within a sequence of geo-stationary satellite images has direct relevance to the analysis of cloud life cycles and to the detection of cloud motion vectors (CMVs). The proposed approach first identifies a homogeneous consistent cloud mass for tracking and then establishes motion correspondence within an image sequence. In contrast to the crosscorrelation based approach as adopted in automatic CMV detection analysis, a scale space classifier is designed to detect cloud mass in the source image taken at time t and the destination image at time t+δt. Boundaries of the extracted cloud segments are matched by computing a correspondence between high curvature points. This shape based method is capable of tracking in the cases of rotation, scaling, and shearing, while the correlation technique is limited to translational motion. The final tracking results provide motion magnitude and direction for each contour point, allowing reliable estimation of meteorological events and wind velocities aloft. With comparable computational expense, the scale space classification technique exceeds the performance of the traditional correlation-based approach in terms of reduced localization error and false matches

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 2 )