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In-Depth Verification of Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X Geolocation Accuracy Using the Australian Corner Reflector Array

Gisinger, Christoph and Schubert, Adrian and Breit, Helko and Garthwaite, Matthew and Balss, Ulrich and Willberg, Martin and Small, David and Eineder, Michael and Miranda, Nuno (2021) In-Depth Verification of Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X Geolocation Accuracy Using the Australian Corner Reflector Array. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, pp. 1-28. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2961248. ISSN 0196-2892. (In Press)

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Official URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9115211

Abstract

This article shows how the array of corner reflectors (CRs) in Queensland, Australia, together with highly accurate geodetic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) techniques--also called imaging geodesy--can be used to measure the absolute and relative geometric fidelity of SAR missions. We describe, in detail, the end-to-end methodology and apply it to TerraSAR-X TerraSAR-X Stripmap (SM) and ScanSAR (SC) data and to Sentinel-1 interferometric wide swath (IW) data. Geometric distortions within images that are caused by commonly used SAR processor approximations are explained, and we show how to correct them during postprocessing. Our results, supported by the analysis of 140 images across the different SAR modes and using the 40 reflectors of the array, confirm our methodology and achieve the limits predicted by theory for both Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X. After our corrections, the Sentinel-1 residual errors are 6 cm in range and 26 cm in azimuth, including all error sources. The findings are confirmed by the mutual independent processing carried out at University of Zurich (UZH) and German Aerospace Center (DLR). This represents an improvement of the geolocation accuracy by approximately a factor of four in range and a factor of two in azimuth compared with the standard Sentinel-1 products. The TerraSAR-X results are even better. The achieved geolocation accuracy now approaches that of the global navigation satellite system (GNSS)-based survey of the CRs positions, which highlights the potential of the end-to-end SAR methodology for imaging geodesy.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/135326/
Document Type:Article
Title:In-Depth Verification of Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X Geolocation Accuracy Using the Australian Corner Reflector Array
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Gisinger, Christophchristoph.gisinger (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4116-0188
Schubert, Adrianrsl, universität zürichUNSPECIFIED
Breit, Helkohelko.breit (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7865-3288
Garthwaite, MatthewGeoscience AustraliaUNSPECIFIED
Balss, UlrichUlrich.Balss (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Willberg, MartinTUM IAPGUNSPECIFIED
Small, Davidrsl, universität zürichUNSPECIFIED
Eineder, Michaelmichael.eineder (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5068-1324
Miranda, NunoESRIN, ESAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2021
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1109/TGRS.2019.2961248
Page Range:pp. 1-28
Publisher:IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN:0196-2892
Status:In Press
Keywords:Synthetic Aperture Radar, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel-1, Corner Reflector, Geolocation, Geodetic Corrections
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
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > SAR Signal Processing
Deposited By: Gisinger, Christoph
Deposited On:19 Jun 2020 10:57
Last Modified:14 Jan 2021 13:31

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