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Polarimetric SAR speckle filtering and its implication for classification

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3 Author(s)
Jong-Sen Lee ; Remote Sensing Div., Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; M. R. Grunes ; G. de Grandi

This paper proposes a new approach in polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) speckle filtering. The new approach emphasizes preserving polarimetric properties and statistical correlation between channels, not introducing crosstalk, and not degrading the image quality. In the last decade, speckle reduction of polarimetric SAR imagery has been studied using several different approaches. All of these approaches exploited the degree of statistical independence between linear polarization channels. The preservation of polarimetric properties and statistical characteristics such as correlation between channels were not carefully addressed. To avoid crosstalk, each element of the covariance matrix must be filtered independently. This rules out current methods of polarimetric SAR filtering. To preserve the polarimetric signature, each element of the covariance matrix should be filtered in a way similar to multilook processing by averaging the covariance matrix of neighboring pixels. However, this must be done without the deficiency of smearing the edges, which degrades image quality and corrupts polarimetric properties. The proposed polarimetric SAR filter uses edge-aligned nonsquare windows and applies the local statistics filter. The impact of using this polarimetric speckle filtering on terrain classification is quite dramatic in boosting classification performance. Airborne polarimetric radar images are used for illustration

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 5 )