Extraction of buildings in vhr sar images using fully convolution neural networks

Muhammad Shahzad, Michael Maurer, Friedrich Fraundorfer, Yuanyuan Wang, Xiao Xiang Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Modern spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors, such as TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X and COSMO-SkyMed, can deliver very high resolution (VHR) data beyond the inherent spatial scales (on the order of 1m) of buildings, constituting invaluable data source for large-scale urban mapping. Processing this VHR data with advanced interferometric techniques, such as SAR tomography (TomoSAR), enables the generation of 3-D (or even 4-D) TomoSAR point clouds from space. In this paper, we present a novel and generic workflow that exploits these TomoSAR point clouds in a way that is capable to automatically produce benchmark annotated (buildings/nonbuildings) SAR datasets. These annotated datasets (building masks) have been utilized to construct and train the state-ofthe- A rt deep Fully Convolution Neural Networks with an additional Conditional Random Field represented as a Recurrent Neural Network to detect building regions in a single VHR SAR image. The results of building detection are illustrated and validated over TerraSAR-X VHR spotlight SAR image covering approximately 39 km2 . almost the whole city of Berlin . with mean pixel accuracies of around 93.84%.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2018 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538671504
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018
Event38th Annual IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium: IGARSS 2018 - Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Duration: 22 Jul 201827 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)


Conference38th Annual IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Abbreviated titleIGARSS
Internet address


  • Building Detection
  • Fully Convolution Neural Networks
  • OpenStreetMap
  • SAR Tomography
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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