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Auto-registration of medium and high spatial resolution satellite images by integrating improved SIFT and spatial consistency constraints

Li, Shanshan, Peng, Man, Zhang, Bing, Feng, Xuxiang, Wu, Yewei
International journal of remote sensing 2019 v.40 no.14 pp. 5635-5650
Landsat, automation, image analysis, remote sensing
Feature-based methods have been developed in the past decades for the registration of optical satellite images. However, it is still a challenging problem to handle well the registration between medium and high spatial resolution images due to the large difference of the spatial structural features and local details for the same objects. In this study, an automated co-registration technique is proposed that integrates an improved SIFT (I-SIFT) and a novel matching strategy called spatial consistency constraints (SCC) to cope with the large difference in spatial resolutions between the image pair. Three constraints on angle, distance, and ratio are introduced to re the initial matching features obtained by I-SIFT. Three groups of experiments were conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The experiments used high resolution multispectral and panoramic SPOT 5/6 images and Landsat 5/8 orthorectification images. Experimental results show that the registration error lies in about 1 pixel of high-resolution images and demonstrate that the proposed I-SIFT-SCC approach is suitable for fine registration of optical satellite images from medium spatial resolution to high spatial resolution with resolution ratio up to 6.