Image registration is a basic but essential step for remote sensing image processing, and finding stable features in multitemporal images is one of the most considerable challenges in the field. The main shape contours of artificial objects (e.g., roads, buildings, farmlands, and airports) can be generally described as a group of line segments, which are stable features, even in images with evident background changes (e.g., images taken before and after a disaster). In this study, a registration method that uses line segments and their intersections is proposed for multitemporal remote sensing images. First, line segments are extracted in image pyramids to unify the scales of the reference image and the test image. Then, a line descriptor based on the gradient distribution of local areas is constructed, and the segments are matched in image pyramids. Lastly, triplets of intersections of matching lines are selected to estimate affine transformation between two images. Additional corresponding intersections are provided based on the estimated transformation, and an iterative process is adopted to remove outliers. The performance of the proposed method is tested on a variety of optical remote sensing image pairs, including synthetic and real data. Compared with existing methods, our method can provide more accurate registration results, even in images with significant background changes.
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