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Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE

Issue 1 • Date Jan. 2012

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 35
  • [Front cover]

    Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters publication information

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 1 - 2
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  • Temporal Scale of Sea Surface Temperature Fronts Revealed by Microwave Observations

    Page(s): 3 - 7
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1122 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Sea surface temperature (SST) data for three years from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System are used to statistically evaluate the temporal scales of the global SST fronts (SSTFs). Using the entropy-based edge detection method which is very resistant to impulsive noises, temporal autocorrelation of the dissimilarities of two SST groups across the SSTF is calculated in 10-km-gridded map. In general, the derived temporal scales, defined as e-folding scales in this study, range from 10 to 40 days. Long temporal scales of up to 100 days are found in areas where the stationary ocean currents maintain the frontal structures. View full abstract»

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  • Quantum Immune Fast Spectral Clustering for SAR Image Segmentation

    Page(s): 8 - 12
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (531 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Spectral clustering algorithm suffers from memory use and computational time bottleneck when handling large-scale image segmentation. By optimizing the selection of representative points before spectral embedding, a fast spectral clustering method with quantum immune optimization is proposed. The incorporation of quantum computing and immune clonal selection theory makes the selection of representative points more reasonable. The empirical study on the University of California Irvine standard data set clustering and synthetic aperture radar image segmentation demonstrates the efficiency of our algorithm and the capability to deal with large-scale data rapidly. View full abstract»

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  • Fast MAP Despeckling Based on Laplacian–Gaussian Modeling of Wavelet Coefficients

    Page(s): 13 - 17
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (546 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The undecimated wavelet transform and the maximum a posteriori probability (MAP) criterion have been applied to the problem of synthetic-aperture-radar image despeckling. The MAP solution is based on the assumption that wavelet coefficients have a known distribution. In previous works, the generalized Gaussian (GG) function has been successfully employed. Furthermore, despeckling methods can be improved by using a classification of wavelet coefficients according to their texture energy. A major drawback of using the GG distribution is the high computational cost since the MAP solution can be found only numerically. In this letter, a new modeling of the statistics of wavelet coefficients is proposed. Observations of the estimated GG shape parameters relative to the reflectivity and to the speckle noise suggest that their distributions can be approximated as a Laplacian and a Gaussian function, respectively. Under these hypotheses, a closed form solution of the MAP estimation problem can be achieved. As for the GG case, classification of wavelet coefficients according to their texture content may be exploited also in the proposed method. Experimental results show that the fast MAP estimator based on the Laplacian-Gaussian assumption and on the classification of coefficients reaches almost the same performances as the GG version in terms of speckle removal, with a gain in computational cost of about one order of magnitude. View full abstract»

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  • Minimization of Image Distortion in SMOS Brightness Temperature Maps Over the Ocean

    Page(s): 18 - 22
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1016 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) brightness temperature synthesized images are obtained after a comprehensive error correction procedure that takes into account both on-ground and in-flight calibration measurements. However, the final images are still contaminated by small, although nonnegligible, spatial errors: the so-called pixel bias. Since spatial errors in the 2-D SMOS images are not zero mean along track, these errors produce clearly visible artifacts aligned to this direction. Fortunately, spatial errors have been found to be very stable and can be minimized once the image distortion pattern is properly measured by observing a target at a uniform brightness temperature distribution. This letter describes the procedure to compute a multiplicative mask that largely reduces spatial errors over the ocean. Preliminary results to assess the mask performance are also presented by computing the reduction of the rms spatial error for a number of targets selected to have significant temporal and geographical diversity. View full abstract»

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  • Ground Reflection Removal in Compressive Sensing Ground Penetrating Radars

    Page(s): 23 - 27
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (662 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Recent results in compressive sensing (CS)-based subsurface imaging showed that, if the target space is sparse, it can be reconstructed with many fewer number of measurements from a stepped frequency ground penetrating radar (GPR). One of the problems in this CS subsurface imaging is the surface reflections. Previous work dealed with surface reflections using a model dictionary generated from the target space excluding specifically the near surface region. While this works fine for some applications, it might lack the imaging of near surface targets. Removing the surface reflections with standard methods is not directly applicable since only very few and random measurements in the frequency domain are taken. This letter provides a simple surface reflection method using compressive measurements, that can be used for nonplanar surfaces. It is observed in both simulated and experimental GPR data that the CS-based imaging method is more robust and can find shallow targets using the surface-reflection-removed data. View full abstract»

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  • Compact Decomposition Theory

    Page(s): 28 - 32
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (520 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this letter, we develop several new aspects of target decomposition theory for use with compact-mode polarimetric radar data. We first make a general link between fully polarimetric systems and compact modes before developing two important types of decomposition, namely, entropy/alpha and model-based surface/dihedral/volume techniques. We show that, under certain assumptions, compact data can be used to estimate the rotation invariant alpha angle of quadpol systems, which can then be used for polarimetric classification and physical parameter estimation. We apply the new methods to the problem of historical forest fire scar detection, using data at L- and C-bands to demonstrate the preservation of signatures in transition from quad to compact modes. View full abstract»

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  • First Bistatic Spaceborne SAR Experiments With TanDEM-X

    Page(s): 33 - 37
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2013 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X Add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) is a high-resolution interferometric mission with the main goal of providing a global and unprecedentedly accurate digital elevation model of the Earth surface by means of single-pass X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry. Despite its usual quasi-monostatic configuration, TanDEM-X is the first genuinely bistatic SAR system in space. During its monostatic commissioning phase, the system has been mainly operated in pursuit monostatic mode. However, some pioneering bistatic SAR experiments with both satellites commanded in nonnominal modes have been conducted with the main purpose of validating the performance of both space and ground segments in very demanding scenarios. In particular, this letter reports about the first bistatic acquisition and the first single-pass interferometric (mono-/bistatic) acquisition with TanDEM-X, addressing their innovative aspects and focusing on the analysis of the experimental results. Even in the absence of essential synchronization and calibration information, bistatic images and interferograms with similar quality to pursuit monostatic have been obtained. View full abstract»

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  • Geometrical Fusion of Multitrack PS Point Clouds

    Page(s): 38 - 42
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1170 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Recent radar satellites like TerraSAR-X and COSMO-SkyMed deliver very high resolution synthetic aperture radar images at a spatial resolution of less than 1 m. Persistent scatterer (PS) positions obtained from stacks of high-resolution spotlight data show very much details of buildings and other structures in 3-D due to the enormous amount of PS obtainable from data of this resolution class. As soon as more than one stack covering the same area is available, a combination of the results is eligible. However, geocoded PSs cannot be simply united due to residual offsets in their absolute positions which stem from unknown absolute height values of the different reference points chosen when processing the individual stacks independently. In this letter, two different methods for a geometrical fusion of geocoded PSs from stacks acquired at different aspect and incidence angles are presented. The algorithms are applied to PS interferometry results of both urban and nonurban areas. View full abstract»

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  • Effect of Cylindrically Shaped Atoll on Westward-Propagating Anticyclonic Eddy—A Case Study

    Page(s): 43 - 46
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (847 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Mesoscale anticyclonic eddies occasionally propagate westward across the Dongsha atoll situated on the continental slope in the northern South China Sea (SCS). Satellite observations of this phenomenon are used to identify eddy weakening and deforming. Stronger anticyclonic eddies are weakening within a distance of 30-120 km from the atoll. A weaker anticyclone with an eddy diameter of 120 km, a sea-level slope of 8.3 × 10-8, a Reynolds number of 17, and a slow moving speed (2.5 km/d) in the SCS can be split into two smaller eddies. View full abstract»

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  • Experimental Results of Air Target Detection With a GPS Forward-Scattering Radar

    Page(s): 47 - 51
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (898 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Forward-scattering radars (FSRs) acquire great interest when low radar cross section (RCS) targets are willing to be detected. This type of radar provides a countermeasure to stealth technology because, here, the targets' RCS depends only on the size and the shape of their silhouette. Passive radars use transmitters of opportunity as signal source, and they are therefore attractive too, due to their inherit low cost. The advantage of considering Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) satellites as transmitters of opportunity is the high availability that these satellites offer. Anywhere on earth, around eight Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are continuously in view. Due to the large number of new GNSS satellites becoming operational in the near future (American GPS, Russian GLONASS, European Galileo system, and Chinese COMPASS), more than 30 satellites are expected to be constantly in view. This provides an optimum scenario for implementation of a GNSS-FSR system. In this paper, experimental results of a GPS-FSR at different target-receiver scenarios near Nuremberg Airport are analyzed. Disturbances on the signals due to diffraction effects, which take place as the targets cross the receiver-satellite baselines, are discussed and evaluated. For these experiments, a hemispherical antenna has been used, which provides promising results for a future GNSS-FSR implementation. View full abstract»

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  • SVMeFC: SVM Ensemble Fuzzy Clustering for Satellite Image Segmentation

    Page(s): 52 - 55
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (615 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The problem of unsupervised image segmentation of a satellite image in a number of homogeneous regions can be viewed as the task of clustering the pixels in the intensity space. This letter presents an approach that exploits the capability of some recently proposed fuzzy clustering techniques, as well as support vector machine (SVM) classifiers, to yield improved solutions. All the fuzzy clustering techniques are first used to produce a set of different clustering solutions. Each such solution has been improved by a novel technique based on an SVM classifier. Thereafter, the cluster-based similarity partition algorithm is used to create the final clustering solution from all improved ensemble solutions. Results demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed technique are provided for numeric remote sensing data described in terms of feature vectors. Moreover, a remotely sensed image of Calcutta City has been segmented using the proposed technique to establish its utility. In addition, the additional information of this letter is given as supplementary at http://sysbio.icm.edu.pl/indra/SVMeFC.html. View full abstract»

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  • Spatial Statistics of Objects in 3-D Sonar Images: Application to Fisheries Acoustics

    Page(s): 56 - 59
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (395 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this letter, we address the characterization of objects in 3-D sonar images of the water column obtained by a multibeam echo sounder. Compared with classic 2-D images from a monobeam echo sounder, these 3-D images provide finer scale observation of the pelagic biomasses and new tools to characterize 3-D distributions. By viewing object patterns as realizations of spatial point processes, we investigate descriptive spatial statistics. This method is then applied to 3-D fisheries acoustics data set for characterization of the distribution of pelagic fish schools. Reported experiments illustrate the relevance of the proposed descriptors. The comparison of our method with 2-D sonar data analysis further demonstrates the information gain from using 3-D sonar imagery. View full abstract»

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  • First 3-D Reconstructions of Targets Hidden Beneath Foliage by Means of Polarimetric SAR Tomography

    Page(s): 60 - 64
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (596 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    SAR tomography (SARTom) is an imaging technique that allows multiple phase center separation in the vertical direction, leading to a 3-D reconstruction of the imaged scene. The retrieval of volume structure information (e.g., for forest classification) and the solution of the layover problem are two of the most promising applications. In this letter, SARTom, in combination with polarimetry (PolSARTom), is exploited to image and to extract characteristic features (e.g., shape and height) of targets hidden beneath foliage. This analysis is applied to L-band airborne data acquired by the E-SAR system of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) during a tomographic campaign that took place in September 2006 on the test site of Dornstetten (Germany). View full abstract»

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  • Interpreting RADARSAT-2 Quad-Polarization SAR Signatures From Rice Paddy Based on Experiments

    Page(s): 65 - 69
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (332 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The objective of this letter was to interpret the spatial variation of rice backscattering signatures as a function of rice growth parameters. Two scenes of RADARSAT-2 quad-polarization images were acquired at two rice growth stages. In accordance with the acquisition dates, a wide range of rice growth parameters, such as leaf area index (LAI), biomass, canopy height, and stem density, were measured. Among them, six parameters were selected as impact factors. The correlation between impact factors and rice backscattering coefficients was analyzed before establishing regression models. Because of strong multicollinearity among the impact factors, a principal component regression method was applied to build the models for different polarizations. Results showed that the spatial variation of rice backscattering is most sensitive to the change of rice biomass and LAI at both rice growth stages. Compared with HH and VV, VH or HV has a better correlation with the spatial change of biomass and LAI, implying the advantages of RADARSAT-2 quad-polarization data in regional rice growth monitoring. View full abstract»

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  • A Technique for Simulating Pseudo Natural Color Images Based on Spectral Similarity Scales

    Page(s): 70 - 74
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (436 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Natural color images are superior to false color images for presentation and visual interpretation purposes. They are widely used in the fields of fly-through of a draped terrain, visual interpretation, and display and have been designed, for example, for nonremote sensing professional users. However, each sensor has its own purpose, application, and limitation. In addition, blue wavelengths suffer the greatest scattering in the atmosphere, which follows an inverse dependence on wavelength to the fourth power. Some of high-resolution satellites cover only two visual spectral bands (green and red bands) plus one in the near-infrared region. As a result, a true color image cannot be formed, as the blue band is necessary in the red, green, and blue combination. This has become problematic for users needing a natural color composite that has limited the application of high-resolution images. To overcome this problem, in this letter, we propose a new approach for generating pseudo natural color (PNC) composite representations from false color composite images based on the spectral similarity scale. The method is validated experimentally. The proposed “natural color generator” can be applied to change false color images into natural color images. The generated PNC images are shown to be of high quality. View full abstract»

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  • Improved Four-Component Model-Based Target Decomposition for Polarimetric SAR Data

    Page(s): 75 - 79
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (634 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    An improved four-component model-based target decomposition scheme for polarimetric synthetic aperture radar data is proposed in this letter. The reason for the emergence of the negative powers in the Yamaguchi decomposition has been analyzed, and three corresponding additional steps are added in the proposed scheme. First, the orientation angle compensation is applied to the coherency matrix. Second, the coherency matrix with the maximum entropy, i.e., the identity matrix is used as the volume scattering model instead of the traditional ones. Third, corresponding power constraints are appended to the scheme. Moreover, the densely vegetated areas and the residual areas are processed separately via the H/α/A classification in the proposed scheme. Finally, the polarimetric-scattering-characteristic-preserving classification is utilized to verify the improvements of the proposed scheme. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the decomposition, an Advanced Land Observing Satellite Phased-Array-type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar polarimetric image acquired over Beijing, China, is analyzed, and the results are presented in this letter. With negative powers eliminated by the proposed scheme, improvements can be observed in the experimental results, particularly for the urban areas. View full abstract»

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  • Contextual Descriptors for Scene Classes in Very High Resolution SAR Images

    Page(s): 80 - 84
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (798 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The new generation of spaceborne SAR instruments with meter or submeter resolution finds enormous applications for the observation of urban, industrial, in general of man-made scenes. Thus, targets are not any more observed in isolation, instead the groups of objects, e.g., house, bridge, and road, etc., need to be recognized in their spatial context. This paper proposes a feature extraction method for image patches in order to capture the spatial context. The method is based on the characteristics of the spectra of the SAR data, integrating radiometric, geometric, and texture properties of the SAR image patch. The method is demonstrated for TerraSAR-X High Resolution Spotlight data. To account for the spatial context in which a group of targets is located, it uses an image patch covering typically 200 × 200m2 of the scene. A comparative evaluation of our descriptors and grey-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) texture features has been performed over a database of 6916 patches. The method allowed for the robust recognition of over 30 different scene classes, with precision between 50% and 93%. Numerical results show that our method is able to discriminate between scene classes better than GLCM texture parameters. View full abstract»

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  • Boresight Calibration of Airborne LiDAR System Without Ground Control Points

    Page(s): 85 - 89
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (550 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This letter proposes a new method for boresight misalignment calibration of the charge-coupled device (CCD) camera which is one component of an airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system without ground control points (GCPs). In the calibration, tie points in overlapping areas are first selected, and then, a multibaseline forward intersection is used for calculating object coordinates of these points. In the intersection, exterior elements of the CCD camera are obtained directly from positioning and orientation system (POS) data of the LiDAR system, which are error contaminated mainly due to the unparallel relation between the frameworks of the inertial measurement unit of the POS and the CCD camera. Elevation values of the ground points are then refined by those obtained from LiDAR point clouds by interpolation, which can be considered to be more accurate than those obtained by multibaseline forward intersection. Through projecting the ground points with refined elevation values into the image space by collinear equations and minimizing distances between the image points selected manually and those projected from ground points, the boresight misalignment is removed effectively. Therefore, the proposed method without GCPs in the whole process is more flexible than other traditional photogrammetric ways. View full abstract»

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  • An Improved Array-Error Estimation Method for Constellation SAR Systems

    Page(s): 90 - 94
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (148 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this letter, we consider the problem of estimating gain-phase and position errors for constellation synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems. In the conventional method, the position error estimation is based on the first-order Taylor series expansion of the position-error exponential function. However, the first-order Taylor series expansion causes an approximation error, resulting in the inaccuracy of the estimation by the conventional method. In this letter, an improved method is developed to overcome this problem, based on the fact that the aforementioned approximation error decreases with the reduction in position errors. In the improved method, we first compensate the position error estimates obtained at the kth iteration in order to reduce the remaining position errors at the (k + 1) th iteration. Then, the position error estimates obtained at all iterations are summed as the estimates of the true position errors. In this way, the improved method removes the aforementioned approximation error, leading to estimates with high accuracy. Simulation results verify that the estimates by the improved method are closer to the true array errors than those by the conventional method. In addition, simulation results show that the improved method is more robust to position errors than the conventional method. Furthermore, the increase in the computational load of the improved method is negligible. View full abstract»

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  • Automatic Extraction of Ellipsoidal Features for Planetary Image Registration

    Page(s): 95 - 99
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (269 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    With the launch of several planetary missions in the last decade, a large amount of planetary images has been already acquired and much more will be available for analysis in the coming years. The image data need to be analyzed, preferably by automatic processing techniques because of the huge amount of data. Although many automatic feature extraction methods have been proposed and utilized for earth remote sensing images, these methods are not always applicable to planetary data that often present low contrast and uneven illumination characteristics. Here, we propose a new unsupervised method for the extraction of different features of elliptical and geometrically compact shapes, such as craters and rocks of compact shape (e.g., boulders), to be used for image registration purposes. This approach is based on the combination of several image processing techniques, including watershed segmentation and the generalized Hough transform. The method potentially has application for extraction of craters, rocks, and other geological features. View full abstract»

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  • Assimilation of Drifter Data in a Circulation Model of the Indian Ocean

    Page(s): 100 - 103
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (396 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Assimilation of drifter data in a circulation model of the Indian Ocean has been explored in the study. Assimilation has been effected using the approach of nudging. The impact of such assimilation has been quantified by comparing the sea level anomalies simulated in runs with and without assimilation against independent observations derived by satellites. It has been found that the assimilation leads to an overall improvement in the quality of simulation. The surface currents simulated in the two runs have been compared with the observed current at a moored equatorial buoy, and the impact of assimilation has been found to be positive. The improvement in forecast capability has also been judged in a representative example. The degree of improvement in the mentioned examples, although not quite negligible, is not too high because of the paucity of the number of drifters deployed. It has been conjectured that such assimilation, when coupled with assimilation of other surface data derived by satellites, may lead to significant enhancement of the quality of simulation. View full abstract»

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  • An Autofocus Method for Backprojection Imagery in Synthetic Aperture Radar

    Page(s): 104 - 108
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (474 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this letter, we present an autofocus routine for backprojection imagery from spotlight-mode synthetic aperture radar data. The approach is based on maximizing image sharpness and supports the flexible collection and imaging geometries of BP, including wide-angle apertures and the ability to image directly onto a digital elevation map. While image-quality-based autofocus approaches can be computationally intensive, in the backprojection setting, we demonstrate a natural geometric interpretation that allows for optimal single-pulse phase corrections to be derived in closed form as the solution of a quartic polynomial. The approach is applicable to focusing standard backprojection imagery, as well as providing incremental focusing in sequential imaging applications based on autoregressive backprojection. An example demonstrates the efficacy of the approach applied to real data for a wide-aperture backprojection image. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters (GRSL) is a monthly publication for short papers (maximum length 5 pages) addressing new ideas and formative concepts in remote sensing as well as important new and timely results and concepts.

 

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Alejandro C. Frery
Universidade Federal de Alagoas