The epipolarity constraint in stereo-radargrammetric DEM generation

Karlheinz Gutjahr, Roland Perko, Hannes Raggam, Mathias Schardt

Publikation: Beitrag in einer FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


For stereometric processing of optical image pairs, the concept of epipolar geometry is widely used. It helps to reduce the complexity of image matching, which can be seen to be the most crucial step within a workflow to generate digital elevation models. In this paper, it is shown that this concept is also applicable to the cocircular geometry of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image pairs. First, it is proven that, for any feasible SAR acquisition, the deviation from true epipolar geometry is within subpixel range and therefore acceptably small. Based on this, we propose a method to create “epipolar” geometry for arbitrary stereo configurations of any SAR sensor through appropriate geometric image transformations. Consequently, the semiglobal matching (SGM) algorithm can be applied, which is restricted to epipolar geometry and is thus known to be highly efficient. This innovative approach, integrating both epipolar transformation and SGM, has been applied to a TerraSAR-X stereo data set. Its benefit has been demonstrated in a comparative assessment with respect to results, which have been previously achieved on the same test data using state-of-the-art stereometric methods.
Seiten (von - bis)5014-5022
FachzeitschriftIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2014

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