Assessment of the Stereo-Radargrammetric Mapping Potential of TerraSAR-X Multi-Beam Spotlight Data.

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Raggam J., Gutjahr K.H., Perko R., Schardt M.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Special Issue on TerraSAR-X: Mission, Calibration, and First Results, Volume 48, No. 2, pp. 971-977, February 2010. , 2010


TerraSAR-X can acquire image data in various resolutions down to a range of about 1 m. Moreover, the sensor can operate at various imaging beams and thus acquire image data at different off-nadir viewing angles. These circumstances led to a stimulation of the traditional stereo-mapping approach, as TerraSAR-X image pairs became available in high resolution and in various geometric dispositions. With respect to 3-D surface mapping, TerraSAR-X stereo data processing, therefore, is a serious alternative to synthetic aperture radar interferometry, which can be addressed as the evolving mapping technique of the last decade. Within the TerraSAR-X science program of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), high-resolution multibeam data sets in Spotlight mode were acquired for several Austrian test sites. In general, three images were obtained from either ascending or descending orbits. In order to exploit the 3-D mapping accuracy of TerraSAR-X, stereo-radargrammetric mapping techniques were applied to the data sets, thereby utilizing stereo pairs as well as multi-image data sets in various dispositions. This paper focuses on one of the selected test sites and refers to the issues of 2-D and 3-D mapping-accuracy assessment as well as to surface model and vegetation-height-model generation. Validation of these products was widely restricted to visual analysis due to the lack of adequate high-quality reference products.