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Modern airborne SAR sensor systems provide geometric resolution in the order well below half a meter. By SAR interferometry from pairs of such images, DEM of the same grid size can be obtained. In data of this kind, many features of urban objects become visible, which were beyond the scope of radar remote sensing only a few years ago. However, because of the side-looking SAR sensor principle, layover and occlusion issues inevitably arise in undulated terrain or urban areas. Therefore, SAR data are difficult to interpret even for senior human interpreters. Furthermore, the quality of the InSAR DEM may vary significantly depending on the local topography. In order to support interpretation, SAR data are often analyzed using additional complementary information provided by maps or other remote sensing imagery. In this paper, object feature extraction and visualization from high-resolution InSAR data and one orthophoto is discussed for the example of a scene containing several bridges over water. Bridges are key elements of man-made infrastructure. Monitoring of these important connecting parts of the traffic network is vital for applications such as disaster management or in the context of political crisis, for instance, to evacuate inhabitants and to deliver goods and equipment. Aims of the approach are to derive key features of the bridge's geometry from the complementary data sources, to determine the water level, smooth the noisy InSAR DEM data, especially at water surfaces, and, finally, to generate an improved 3-D visualization of the scene by overlapping the optical image on the InSAR DEM.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:1 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: June 2008