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Accuracy Assessment of the Global TanDEM-X Digital Elevation Model with GPS Data

Wessel, Birgit and Huber, Martin and Wohlfart, Christian and Marschalk, Ursula and Kosmann, Detlev and Roth, Achim (2018) Accuracy Assessment of the Global TanDEM-X Digital Elevation Model with GPS Data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 139, pp. 171-182. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2018.02.017. ISSN 0924-2716.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924271618300522


The primary goal of the German TanDEM-X mission is the generation of a highly accurate and global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with global accuracies of at least 10 m absolute height error (linear 90% error). The global TanDEM-X DEM acquired with single-pass SAR interferometry was finished in September 2016. This paper provides a unique accuracy assessment of the final TanDEM-X global DEM using two different GPS point reference data sets, which are distributed across all continents, to fully characterize the absolute height error. Firstly, the absolute vertical accuracy is examined by about three million globally distributed kinematic GPS (KGPS) points derived from 19 KGPS tracks covering a total length of about 66,000 km. Secondly, a comparison is performed with more than 23,000 “GPS on Bench Marks” (GPS-on-BM) points provided by the US National Geodetic Survey (NGS) scattered across 14 different land cover types of the US National Land Cover Data base (NLCD). Both GPS comparisons prove an absolute vertical mean error of TanDEM-X DEM smaller than ±0.20 m, a Root Means Square Error (RMSE) smaller than 1.4 m and an excellent absolute 90% linear height error below 2 m. The RMSE values are sensitive to land cover types. For low vegetation the RMSE is ±1.1 m, whereas it is slightly higher for developed areas (±1.4 m) and for forests (±1.8 m). This validation confirms an outstanding absolute height error at 90% confidence level of the global TanDEM-X DEM outperforming the requirement by a factor of five. Due to its extensive and globally distributed reference data sets, this study is of considerable interests for scientific and commercial applications.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/120420/
Document Type:Article
Title:Accuracy Assessment of the Global TanDEM-X Digital Elevation Model with GPS Data
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Wessel, BirgitBirgit.Wessel (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8673-2485
Huber, MartinMartin.Huber (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2665-2149
Wohlfart, ChristianChristian.Wohlfart (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Marschalk, Ursulaursula.marschalk (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kosmann, DetlevDetlev.Kosmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Roth, AchimAchim.Roth (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:May 2018
Journal or Publication Title:ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 171-182
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iD
Lichti, D.University of Calgary, Alberta, CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Weng, Q.Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, USAUNSPECIFIED
Keywords:TanDEM-X, Digital Elevation Model, kinematic GPS, vertical accuracy, validation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Remote Sensing and Geo Research, R - Support TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X operations
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface Dynamics
Deposited By: Wessel, Dr.-Ing. Birgit
Deposited On:11 Jul 2018 09:32
Last Modified:11 Jan 2023 13:33

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