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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(7), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9070741

High Precision DEM Generation Algorithm Based on InSAR Multi-Look Iteration

1
School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, No. 129, Luoyu Rd., Wuhan 430079, China
2
Satellite Surveying and Mapping Application Center, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geo-Information, Haidian Dist., Beijing 100048, China
3
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210046, China
4
Faculty of Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 16 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology)
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Abstract

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is one of the most sufficient technologies to provide global digital elevation modeling (DEM). It unwraps the interferometric phase to provide observations for phase-to-height conversion. However, the phase gradient has great influence on the phase unwrapping quality, thereby affecting the topographic mapping accuracy. Multi-look processing can improve the reliability of phase unwrapping by reducing the noise phase gradient. Nevertheless, it reduces the spatial resolution while increasing the height phase gradient, thus lowering the reliability of height values. In this paper, we propose a multi-look iteration algorithm to suppress the noise and maintain the reliability of height values. First, we use a large number of looks (NL) to suppress the noise phase gradient and obtain a coarse DEM. Then taking this coarse DEM as a reference, we remove the topographic phase from the interferogram with a small NL, which will reduce height phase gradient and ensure the accuracy of phase unwrapping. Finally, we obtain DEM products with high precision and fine resolution. We validate the proposed algorithm using both simulated and real data, and obtain DEM products in a greatly undulated region using TanDEM-X data. Results show that the proposed method is capable of providing DEM with resolution of 4 m and accuracy of 1.73 m. View Full-Text
Keywords: InSAR; multi-look iteration; DEM; TanDEM-X InSAR; multi-look iteration; DEM; TanDEM-X
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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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Gao, X.; Liu, Y.; Li, T.; Wu, D. High Precision DEM Generation Algorithm Based on InSAR Multi-Look Iteration. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 741.

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