Remote Sens.2016, 8(9), 706; doi:10.3390/rs8090706 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Monitoring the dynamics in wheat crops requires near-term observations with high spatial resolution due to the complex factors influencing wheat growth variability. We studied the prospects for monitoring the biophysical parameters and nitrogen status in wheat crops with low-cost imagery acquired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over an 11 ha field. Flight missions were conducted at approximately 50 m in altitude with a commercial copter and camera system—three missions were performed between booting and maturing of the wheat plants and one mission after tillage. Ultra-high resolution orthoimages of 1.2 cm·px−1 and surface models were generated for each mission from the standard red, green and blue (RGB) aerial images. The image variables were extracted from image tone and surface models, e.g., RGB ratios, crop coverage and plant height. During each mission, 20 plots within the wheat canopy with 1 × 1 m2 sample support were selected in the field, and the leaf area index, plant height, fresh and dry biomass and nitrogen concentrations were measured. From the generated UAV imagery, we were able to follow the changes in early senescence at the individual plant level in the wheat crops. Changes in the pattern of the wheat canopy varied drastically from one mission to the next, which supported the need for instantaneous observations, as delivered by UAV imagery. The correlations between the biophysical parameters and image variables were highly significant during each mission, and the regression models calculated with the principal components of the image variables yielded R2 values between 0.70 and 0.97. In contrast, the models of the nitrogen concentrations yielded low R2 values with the best model obtained at flowering (R2 = 0.65). The nitrogen nutrition index was calculated with an accuracy of 0.10 to 0.11 NNI for each mission. For all models, information about the surface models and image tone was important. We conclude that low-cost RGB UAV imagery will strongly aid farmers in observing biophysical characteristics, but it is limited for observing the nitrogen status within wheat crops.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(9), 707; doi:10.3390/rs8090707 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, a semi-empirical algorithm for significant wave height (Hs) and mean wave period (Tmw) retrieval from C-band VV-polarization Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery is presented. We develop a semi-empirical function for Hs retrieval, which describes the relation between Hs and cutoff wavelength, radar incidence angle, and wave propagation direction relative to radar look direction. Additionally, Tmw can be also calculated through Hs and cutoff wavelength by using another empirical function. We collected 106 C-band stripmap mode Sentinel-1 SAR images in VV-polarization and wave measurements from in situ buoys. There are a total of 150 matchup points. We used 93 matchups to tune the coefficients of the semi-empirical algorithm and the rest 57 matchups for validation. The comparison shows a 0.69 m root mean square error (RMSE) of Hs with a 18.6% of scatter index (SI) and 1.98 s RMSE of Tmw with a 24.8% of SI. Results indicate that the algorithm is suitable for wave parameters retrieval from Sentinel-1 SAR data.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(9), 708; doi:10.3390/rs8090708 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Accurate building information plays a crucial role for urban planning, human settlements and environmental management. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, which deliver images with metric resolution, allow for analyzing and extracting detailed information on urban areas. In this paper, we consider the problem of extracting individual buildings from SAR images based on domain ontology. By analyzing a building scattering model with different orientations and structures, the building ontology model is set up to express multiple characteristics of individual buildings. Under this semantic expression framework, an object-based SAR image segmentation method is adopted to provide homogeneous image objects, and three categories of image object features are extracted. Semantic rules are implemented by organizing image object features, and the individual building objects expression based on an ontological semantic description is formed. Finally, the building primitives are used to detect buildings among the available image objects. Experiments on TerraSAR-X images of Foshan city, China, with a spatial resolution of 1.25 m × 1.25 m, have shown the total extraction rates are above 84%. The results indicate the ontological semantic method can exactly extract flat-roof and gable-roof buildings larger than 250 pixels with different orientations.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(9), 709; doi:10.3390/rs8090709 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: With the urgent demand for automatic management of large numbers of high-resolution remote sensing images, content-based high-resolution remote sensing image retrieval (CB-HRRS-IR) has attracted much research interest. Accordingly, this paper proposes a novel high-resolution remote sensing image retrieval approach via multiple feature representation and collaborative affinity metric fusion (IRMFRCAMF). In IRMFRCAMF, we design four unsupervised convolutional neural networks with different layers to generate four types of unsupervised features from the fine level to the coarse level. In addition to these four types of unsupervised features, we also implement four traditional feature descriptors, including local binary pattern (LBP), gray level co-occurrence (GLCM), maximal response 8 (MR8), and scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT). In order to fully incorporate the complementary information among multiple features of one image and the mutual information across auxiliary images in the image dataset, this paper advocates collaborative affinity metric fusion to measure the similarity between images. The performance evaluation of high-resolution remote sensing image retrieval is implemented on two public datasets, the UC Merced (UCM) dataset and the Wuhan University (WH) dataset. Large numbers of experiments show that our proposed IRMFRCAMF can significantly outperform the state-of-the-art approaches.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(9), 705; doi:10.3390/rs8090705 (registering DOI) - published 26 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Supervised land-use/land-cover (LULC) classifications are typically conducted using class assignment rules derived from a set of multiclass training samples. Consequently, classification accuracy varies with the training data set and is thus associated with uncertainty. In this study, we propose a bootstrap resampling and reclassification approach that can be applied for assessing not only the uncertainty in classification results of the bootstrap-training data sets, but also the classification uncertainty of individual pixels in the study area. Two measures of pixel-specific classification uncertainty, namely the maximum class probability and Shannon entropy, were derived from the class probability vector of individual pixels and used for the identification of unclassified pixels. Unclassified pixels that are identified using the traditional chi-square threshold technique represent outliers of individual LULC classes, but they are not necessarily associated with higher classification uncertainty. By contrast, unclassified pixels identified using the equal-likelihood technique are associated with higher classification uncertainty and they mostly occur on or near the borders of different land-cover.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(9), 701; doi:10.3390/rs8090701 (registering DOI) - published 26 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The search for sustainable land use has increased in Brazil due to the important role that agriculture plays in the country. Soil detailed classification is related with texture attribute. How can one discriminate the same soil class with different textures using proximal soil sensing, as to reach surveys, land use planning and increase crop productivity? This study aims to evaluate soil texture using a regional spectral library and its usefulness on classification. We collected 3750 soil samples covering 3 million ha within strong soil class variations in São Paulo State. The spectral analyses of soil samples from topsoil and subsoil were measured in laboratory (400–2500 nm). The potential of a regional soil spectral library was evaluated on the discrimination of soil texture. We considered two types of soil texture systems, one related with soil classification and another with soil managements. The soil line technique was used to assess differentiation between soil textural groups. Soil spectra were summarized by principal component analysis (PCA) to select relevant information on the spectra. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was used to predict texture. Spectral curves indicated different shapes according to soil texture and discriminated particle size classes from clayey to sandy soils. In the visible region, differences were small because of the organic matter, while the short wave infrared (SWIR) region showed more differences; thus, soil texture variation could be differentiated by quartz. Angulation differences are on a spectral curve from NIR to SWIR. The statistical models predicted clay and sand levels with R2 = 0.93 and 0.96, respectively. Indeed, we achieved a difference of 1.2% between laboratory and spectroscopy measurement for clay. The spectral information was useful to classify Ferralsols with different texture classification. In addition, the spectra differentiated Lixisols from Ferralsols and Arenosols. This work can help the development of computer programs that allow soil texture classification and subsequent digital soil mapping at detailed scales. In addition, it complies with requirements for sustainable land use and soil management.