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Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar change detection for specific land cover types

Liu, Meng, Zhang, Hong, Wang, Chao, Tang, Yixian, Zhang, Bo, Wu, Fan, Wu, Tao, Chen, Xi
International journal of digital earth 2015 v.8 no.4 pp. 334-344
polarimetry, synthetic aperture radar, vegetation types, China
This paper presents a supervised polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) change detection method applied to specific land cover types. For each pixel of a PolSAR image, its target scattering vector can be modeled as having a complex multivariate normal distribution. Based on this assumption, the joint distribution of two corresponding vectors in a pair of PolSAR images is derived. Then, a generalized likelihood ratio test statistic for the equality of two likelihood functions of such joint distribution is considered and a maximum likelihood distance measure for specific land cover types is presented. Subsequently, the Kittler and Illingworth minimum error threshold segmentation method is applied to extract the specific changed areas. Experiments on two repeat-pass Radarsat-2 fully polarimetric images of Suzhou, China, demonstrate that the proposed change detection method gives a good performance in determining the specific changed areas in PolSAR images, especially the areas that have changed to water.