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SRTM DEM enhancement using a single set of PolSAR data based on the polarimetry-clinometry model

Jafari, Mohsen, Hasanlou, Mahdi, Arefi, Hossein
International journal of remote sensing 2019 v.40 no.23 pp. 8979-9002
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, algorithms, data collection, digital elevation models, equations, interferometry, polarimetry, remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar, topographic slope
The freely available global and near-global digital elevation models (DEMs) have shown great potential for various remote sensing applications. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data sets provide the near-global DEM of the Earth’s surface obtained using the interferometry synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Although free accessibility and generality are the advantages of these data sets, many applications require more detailed and accurate DEMs. In this paper, we proposed a modified and advanced polarimetry-clinometry algorithm for improving SRTM topography model which requires only one set of polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) data. The azimuth and range slope components estimation based on polarization orientation angle (POA) shifts and the intensity-based Lambertian model formed the bases of the proposed method. This method initially compensated for the polarimetry topography effect corresponding to SRTM using the DEM-derived POA. In the second step, using a modified algorithm, POA was obtained from the compensated PolSAR data. The POA shifts by the azimuth and range slopes’ variations based on the polarimetric model. In addition to the polarimetric model, a clinometry model based on the Lambertian scattering model related to the terrain slope was employed. Next, two unknown parameters, i.e. azimuth and range slope values, were estimated in a system of equations by two models from the compensated PolSAR data. Azimuth and range slopes of SRTM were enhanced by PolSAR-derived slopes. Finally, a weighted least-square grid adjustment (WLSG) method was proposed to integrate the enhanced slopes’ map and estimate enhanced heights. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) AIRSAR was utilized to illustrate the potential of the proposed method in SRTM enhancement. Also, the InSAR DEM was employed for evaluation experiments. Results showed that the accuracy of SRTM DEM is improved up to 2.91 m in comparison with InSAR DEM.