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A maximum likelihood estimator to simultaneously unwrap, geocode and fuse SAR interferograms from different viewing geometries into one digital elevation model

Eineder, Michael and Adam, Nico (2005) A maximum likelihood estimator to simultaneously unwrap, geocode and fuse SAR interferograms from different viewing geometries into one digital elevation model. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 43 (1), pp. 24-36.

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Abstract

This paper presents theory, algorithm and results of a maximum likelihood algorithm that is capable to fuse a number of heterogeneous SAR interferograms into a single digital elevation model (DEM) without the need for the critical phase unwrapping step. The fusion process takes place in the object space, i.e. the map geometry, and considers the periodic likelihood function of each individual interferometric phase sample. The interferograms may vary regarding their radar wavelength, their baseline, their heading angle (ascending or descending) and their incidence angle. Geometric baseline error estimates and a-priori knowledge from other estimates like existing DEMs are incorporated seamlessly into the estimation process. The presented approach significantly differs from the standard DEM generation method where each interferogram is first phase unwrapped individually, then geocoded into a common map geometry and finally averaged with DEMs generated from other interferograms. By avoiding the phase unwrapping step the proposed algorithm does not depend on gradients between samples and is therefore capable to reconstruct the arbitrary height of each single scatterer. Because the height of each DEM sample is determined individually, spatial propagation of phase unwrapping errors is avoided. The algorithm is targeted to fuse an ensemble of interferometric multi-angle or multi-baseline observations in areas of rugged terrain or highly ambiguous data where algorithms based on phase unwrapping may fail. The algorithm is explained and examples with real data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission are given. Conditions of future mission are simulated and optimization criteria for the viewing geometry are discussed.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2004,
Title:A maximum likelihood estimator to simultaneously unwrap, geocode and fuse SAR interferograms from different viewing geometries into one digital elevation model
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Eineder, MichaelUNSPECIFIED
Adam, NicoUNSPECIFIED
Date:2005
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:43
Page Range:pp. 24-36
Status:Published
Keywords:Phase unwrapping, DEM reconstruction, SAR interferometry, multi-baseline
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute
Deposited By: elib DLR-Beauftragter
Deposited On:25 Jan 2006
Last Modified:06 Jan 2010 22:31

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