Forest Assessment Using High Resolution SAR Data in X-Band

Publication from Digital

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

Remote Sensing, vol3, 792-815, 2011


Novel radar satellite missions also include sensors operating in X-band at very high resolution. The presented study reports methodologies, algorithms and results on forest assessment utilizing such X-band satellite images, namely from TerraSAR-X and COSMO-SkyMed sensors. The proposed procedures cover advanced stereo-radargrammetric and interferometric data processing, as well as image segmentation and image classification. A core methodology is the multi-image matching concept for digital surface modeling based on geometrically constrained matching. Validation of generated surface models is made through comparison with LiDAR data, resulting in a standard deviation height error of less than 2 meters over forest. Image classification of
 forest regions is then based on X-band backscatter information, a canopy height model and  interferometric coherence information yielding a classification accuracy above 90%. Such information is then directly used to extract forest border lines. High resolution X-band sensors deliver imagery that can be used for automatic forest assessment on a large scale.