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Crop type classification using a combination of optical and radar remote sensing data: a review

Orynbaikyzy, Aiym, Gessner, Ursula, Conrad, Christopher
International journal of remote sensing 2019 v.40 no.17 pp. 6553-6595
food security, monitoring, radar, remote sensing, spatial data, vegetation structure
Reliable and accurate crop classification maps are an important data source for agricultural monitoring and food security assessment studies. For many years, crop type classification and monitoring were focused on single-source optical satellite data classification. With advancements in sensor technologies and processing capabilities, the potential of multi-source satellite imagery has gained increasing attention. The combination of optical and radar data is particularly promising in the context of crop type classification as it allows explaining the advantages of both sensor types with respect to e.g. vegetation structure and biochemical properties. This review article gives a comprehensive overview of studies on crop type classification using optical and radar data fusion approaches. A structured review of fusion approaches, classification strategies and potential for mapping specific crop types is provided. Finally, the partially untapped potential of radar-optical fusion approaches, research gaps and challenges for upcoming future studies are highlighted and discussed.