Conventional rational polynomial coefficients (RPC)-based orthorectification methods are unable to satisfy the demands of timely responses to terrorist attacks and disaster rescue. To accelerate the orthorectification processing speed, we propose an on-board orthorectification method, i.e., a field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based fixed-point (FP)-RPC orthorectification method. The proposed RPC algorithm is first modified using fixed-point arithmetic. Then, the FP-RPC algorithm is implemented using an FPGA chip. The proposed method is divided into three main modules: a reading parameters module, a coordinate transformation module, and an interpolation module. Two datasets are applied to validate the processing speed and accuracy that are achievable. Compared to the RPC method implemented using Matlab on a personal computer, the throughputs from the proposed method and the Matlab-based RPC method are 675.67 Mpixels/s and 61,070.24 pixels/s, respectively. This means that the proposed method is approximately 11,000 times faster than the Matlab-based RPC method to process the same satellite images. Moreover, the root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) of the row coordinate (ΔI
), column coordinate (ΔJ
), and the distance ΔS
are 0.35 pixels, 0.30 pixels, and 0.46 pixels, respectively, for the first study area; and, for the second study area, they are 0.27 pixels, 0.36 pixels, and 0.44 pixels, respectively, which satisfies the correction accuracy requirements in practice.
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