Radiation normalization is an essential pre-processing step for generating high-quality satellite sequence images. However, most radiometric normalization methods are linear, and they cannot eliminate the regular nonlinear spectral differences. Here we introduce the well-established kernel canonical correlation analysis (kCCA) into radiometric normalization for the first time to overcome this problem, which leads to a new kernel method. It can maximally reduce the image differences among multi-temporal images regardless of the imaging conditions and the reflectivity difference. It also perfectly eliminates the impact of nonlinear changes caused by seasonal variation of natural objects. Comparisons with the multivariate alteration detection (CCA-based) normalization and the histogram matching, on Gaofen-1 (GF-1) data, indicate that the kCCA-based normalization can preserve more similarity and better correlation between an image-pair and effectively avoid the color error propagation. The proposed method not only builds the common scale or reference to make the radiometric consistency among GF-1 image sequences, but also highlights the interesting spectral changes while eliminates less interesting spectral changes. Our method enables the application of GF-1 data for change detection, land-use, land-cover change detection etc.
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