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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(1), 530-563; doi:10.3390/rs70100530

PSI Deformation Map Retrieval by Means of Temporal Sublook Coherence on Reduced Sets of SAR Images

1
Department of Signal Theory and Communications (TSC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Jordi Girona 1-3 (D3), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
2
Department of Geotechnical Engineering and Geosciences, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Jordi Girona 1-3 (D2), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Gloaguen and Prasad Thenkabail
Received: 30 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 7 January 2015
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Abstract

Prior to the application of any persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) technique for the monitoring of terrain displacement phenomena, an adequate pixel selection must be carried out in order to prevent the inclusion of noisy pixels in the processing. The rationale is to detect the so-called persistent scatterers, which are characterized by preserving their phase quality along the multi-temporal set of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images available. Two criteria are mainly available for the estimation of pixels’ phase quality, i.e., the coherence stability and the amplitude dispersion or permanent scatterers (PS) approach. The coherence stability method allows an accurate estimation of the phase statistics, even when a reduced number of SAR acquisitions is available. Unfortunately, it requires the multi-looking of data during the coherence estimation, leading to a spatial resolution loss in the final results. In contrast, the PS approach works at full-resolution, but it demands a larger number of SAR images to be reliable, typically more than 20. There is hence a clear limitation when a full-resolution PSI processing is to be carried out and the number of acquisitions available is small. In this context, a novel pixel selection method based on exploiting the spectral properties of point-like scatterers, referred to as temporal sublook coherence (TSC), has been recently proposed. This paper seeks to demonstrate the advantages of employing PSI techniques by means of TSC on both orbital and ground-based SAR (GB-SAR) data when the number of images available is small (10 images in the work presented). The displacement maps retrieved through the proposed technique are compared, in terms of pixel density and phase quality, with traditional criteria. Two X-band datasets composed of 10 sliding spotlight TerraSAR-X images and 10 GB-SAR images, respectively, over the landslide of El Forn de Canillo (Andorran Pyrenees), are employed for this study. For both datasets, the TSC technique has showed an excellent performance compared with traditional techniques, achieving up to a four-fold increase in the number of persistent scatters detected, compared with the coherence stability approach, and a similar density compared with the PS approach, but free of outliers. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic aperture radar (SAR); differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR); persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI); temporal sublook coherence (TSC); ground-based SAR (GB-SAR); spotlight; persistent scatterer synthetic aperture radar (SAR); differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR); persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI); temporal sublook coherence (TSC); ground-based SAR (GB-SAR); spotlight; persistent scatterer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Iglesias, R.; Mallorqui, J.J.; Monells, D.; López-Martínez, C.; Fabregas, X.; Aguasca, A.; Gili, J.A.; Corominas, J. PSI Deformation Map Retrieval by Means of Temporal Sublook Coherence on Reduced Sets of SAR Images. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 530-563.

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