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Multicriteria Accuracy Assessment of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) Produced by Airborne P-Band Polarimetric SAR Tomography in Tropical Rainforests

Abstract : The penetration capability of P-band radar waves through dense vegetation, along with the ability of tomography to separate the contributions of different layers in a vertical reflectivity profile, make P-band radar tomography a promising tool for digital terrain modeling in forested areas, specifically in dense tropical forests under which terrain topography remains poorly known. This paper aims to assess the overall quality of a digital terrain model (DTM) produced using tomographic processing of airborne P-band SAR imagery acquired during the TropiSAR campaign in French Guiana. Many quality descriptors are used to evaluate the quality of this DTM. Position and slope accuracies are computed based on a lidar DTM considered as the reference, and the impact of several parameters on these accuracies is studied, namely, slope, slope orientation, off-nadir angle and local incidence angle. The realism of the landforms is also studied according to geomorphological criteria. The results of this multicriteria accuracy assessment show the high potential of P-band SAR tomography in depicting the topography under forests, despite the intrinsic limitations related to the slant range geometry: the absolute elevation error is around 2 m; the slope is overestimated with an error of about 16 degrees, mainly due to a processing artifact for which easy and direct solutions exist. Indeed, this error is equal to about 3 degrees in flat artifact-free areas. These errors vary depending on the acquisition parameters and the local topography. The shapes are globally well preserved. These results are also discussed in the frame of the upcoming BIOMASS mission developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and expected to be launched in 2024.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03796578
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 2:28:51 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - 11:46:08 AM

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Mhamad El Hage, Ludovic Villard, Yue Huang, Laurent Ferro-Famil, Thierry Koleck, et al.. Multicriteria Accuracy Assessment of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) Produced by Airborne P-Band Polarimetric SAR Tomography in Tropical Rainforests. Remote Sensing, 2022, 14 (17), pp.4173. ⟨10.3390/rs14174173⟩. ⟨hal-03796578⟩

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