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Potentials of the TanDEM-X mission in the generation of urban DEMs

Rossi, Cristian and Eineder, Michael and Fritz, Thomas and Gernhardt, Stefan (2013) Potentials of the TanDEM-X mission in the generation of urban DEMs. TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Science Meeting 2013, Wessling, Germany.

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Abstract

The mapping of urban areas is a claimed task for many management applications, such as urban development monitoring, urban climate studies, and renewable energy surveys. Airborne data are widely used at this purpose for the generation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). LiDAR is a mature technology for obtaining DEMs in urbanized environment. Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is on the contrary not largely exploited due also to the lack of suitable data. In fact, an essential prerequisite for a successful exploitation of SAR data finalized to urban reconstruction is a resolution capable to map the desired target. A second one, but not less important, is the absence of temporal decorrelation in between the two SAR acquisitions, or, in other words, an interferometric bistatic configuration. The TanDEM-X mission, started in June 2010, has as primary objective the generation of a global DEM following the high standard accuracy HRTI-3. The X-band sensors employed for the mission allow an accurate building mapping, hence accomplishing the first prerequisite. Additionally the mission constitutes the first bistatic SAR interferometer in space, letting to a faithful surface reconstruction free of atmospheric and temporal decorrelations. The acquisition mode used to achieve the HTRI-3 requirements is the stripmap one, with a final spatial DEM resolution of 12 meters. This resolution does not assure an accurate mapping of dense metropolitan areas, nevertheless semi-urban and industrial areas are well mapped as shown with a validation made using reference airborne data over Munich (Germany). The mission foresees however experimental spotlight acquisitions finalized to the generation of higher resolution DEMs following the HRTI-4 standards with a 6 meters spatial resolution. Considering this resolution, a denser urban mapping becomes then possible. The first examples of urban experimental high-resolution DEMs are shown over Las Vegas (USA) and Berlin (Germany). The processing chain adopted for the interferometric DEM generation, also called Raw DEM, is built in the Integrated TanDEM-X Processor (ITP). Although the chain is highly optimized in a global scale, some modifications are necessary for our purposes. In particular, the spectral shift filtering, the coregistration, the interferogram generation and the phase unwrapping processing steps are redesigned towards an optimal configuration for the local municipal zone to map. The limits of an interferometric SAR city modelling are also introduced and analyzed in detail. The major restriction for a correct DEM generation is intrinsic to the SAR viewing geometry with issues like layover and shadow. Their effects in the Raw DEM, basically consisting in false heights, are analyzed and the road to overcome these problems, based on the adoption of tomographic techniques, is introduced. An high-resolution fusion with a DEM generated with Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI-DEM) is finally presented and analyzed. The talk analyzes a strategy for the generation of urban DEMs, now possible also with satellite SAR interferometry, exploiting the potentials offered by the TanDEM-X mission.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/87065/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Potentials of the TanDEM-X mission in the generation of urban DEMs
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Rossi, Cristiancristian.rossi (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Eineder, Michaelmichael.eineder (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Fritz, Thomasthomas.fritz (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Gernhardt, StefanStefan.Gernhardt (at) bv.tu-muenchen.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:19 December 2013
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:DEM, TanDEM-X, Urban Areas
Event Title:TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Science Meeting 2013
Event Location:Wessling, Germany
Event Type:Workshop
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 - Projekt TanDEM-X (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > SAR Signal Processing
Deposited By: Rossi, Cristian
Deposited On:19 Dec 2013 18:26
Last Modified:08 May 2014 23:16

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