Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Mi Wang
The State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping, and Remote Sensing (LIESMARS), Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Prof. Dr. Hanwen Yu
School of Resources and Environment, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
Dr. Jianlai Chen
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Dr. Ying Zhu
School of Electrical and Information Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430205, China

High-Resolution Earth Observation Systems, Technologies, and Applications

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 October 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
20 June 2022
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102969

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the past 20 years, many countries have attached great importance to the high-resolution Earth observation system (EOS), technology, and application. In particular, recent China’s Gaofen series satellites, from Gaofen-1 to Gaofen-13, had been successfully launched into space from 2013 to 2020. Until now, the global high-resolution EOS has covered panchromatic, multispectral, hyperspectral, visible, and microwave wavebands. It is fair to say that various high-resolution EOSs constitute the Earth observation with high spatial resolution, high temporal resolution, and high spectral resolution, which have provided strong support for improving the Earth observation capability.

From the perspective of development trend, the application prospect of high-resolution EOS is very extensive. We believe that more and more new high-resolution EOSs will be launched in the near future. Moreover, the application achievements of high-resolution EOS have been very rich at this stage. Therefore, this multidisciplinary topic aims to invite scholars to publish articles on the latest progress and the development trends of high-resolution EOSs, technologies, and applications.

Potential topics for this Topic include, but are not limited to:

  • Current and future high-resolution EOS and missions
  • Innovative Earth observation sensors, concepts, and techniques
  • Artificial intelligence in EOS remote sensing applications
  • On-board real-time processing of EOS remote sensing images
  • EOS remote sensing image recognition and interpretation
  • Quality improvement of EOS remote sensing images
  • High-precision geometric positioning of EOS remote sensing image
  • Super-resolution processing of EOS remote sensing image
  • Multi-source EOS image fusion
  • Other related topics

Prof. Dr. Mi Wang
Prof. Dr. Hanwen Yu
Dr. Jianlai Chen
Dr. Ying Zhu
Topic Editors

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Sensors
sensors
3.576 5.8 2001 17.4 Days 2400 CHF Submit
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
4.848 6.6 2009 19.8 Days 2500 CHF Submit

Published Papers (163 papers)

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Article
Hyperspectral Image Classification Based on Class-Incremental Learning with Knowledge Distillation
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(11), 2556; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14112556 (registering DOI) - 26 May 2022
Abstract
By virtue of its large-covered spatial information and high-resolution spectral information, hyperspectral images make lots of mapping-based fine-grained remote sensing applications possible. However, due to the inconsistency of land-cover types between different images, most hyperspectral image classification methods keep their effectiveness by training [...] Read more.
By virtue of its large-covered spatial information and high-resolution spectral information, hyperspectral images make lots of mapping-based fine-grained remote sensing applications possible. However, due to the inconsistency of land-cover types between different images, most hyperspectral image classification methods keep their effectiveness by training on every image and saving all classification models and training samples, which limits the promotion of related remote sensing tasks. To deal with the aforementioned issues, this paper proposes a hyperspectral image classification method based on class-incremental learning to learn new land-cover types without forgetting the old ones, which enables the classification method to classify all land-cover types with one final model. Specially, when learning new classes, a knowledge distillation strategy is designed to recall the information of old classes by transferring knowledge to the newly trained network, and a linear correction layer is proposed to relax the heavy bias towards the new class by reapportioning information between different classes. Additionally, the proposed method introduces a channel attention mechanism to effectively utilize spatial–spectral information by a recalibration strategy. Experimental results on the three widely used hyperspectral images demonstrate that the proposed method can identify both new and old land-cover types with high accuracy, which proves the proposed method is more practical in large-coverage remote sensing tasks. Full article
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Article
High-Precision Joint Magnetization Vector Inversion Method of Airborne Magnetic and Gradient Data with Structure and Data Double Constraints
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2508; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102508 - 23 May 2022
Abstract
Airborne magnetic and gradient measurements are commonly used geophysical remote sensing tools to obtain the distribution features of ore mineral bodies. It is known that ore mineral bodies generally contain remanent magnetization, and magnetization vector inversion (MVI) can produce the magnetization intensity and [...] Read more.
Airborne magnetic and gradient measurements are commonly used geophysical remote sensing tools to obtain the distribution features of ore mineral bodies. It is known that ore mineral bodies generally contain remanent magnetization, and magnetization vector inversion (MVI) can produce the magnetization intensity and direction of the source, which is more suitably used to interpret measured airborne magnetic and gradient data. To accurately reveal the underground magnetization vector distribution, we proposed a high-precision method with double constraints on the data and physical structure, and we used the cross-gradient inversion of airborne magnetic anomalies and the combination matrix of airborne magnetic and gradient (CMG) data to recover the physical parameters of the sources with different depths. We used the combination matrix to produce the different component data constraints and the cross-gradient function to finish the inversion to provide structural constraints. For anomaly sources at similar depths, joint inversion based on the cross-gradient of magnetic gradient data and CMG data is more suitably used. The superiority of the double constraints method is proven by theoretical model tests. We apply the proposed method to interpret airborne magnetic and gradient data in Shandong Province to detect iron mineral resources, and we select the cross-gradient inversion of airborne magnetic anomalies and CMG data depending on the nonlinear features of the power spectrum. The main ore bodies have a northeast distribution with a depth range of 1048–1800 m, successfully giving the distribution range of the high-magnetic bodies; a better mineral potential is in the northern part of the survey area. Full article
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Article
A Morphological Feature-Oriented Algorithm for Extracting Impervious Surface Areas Obscured by Vegetation in Collaboration with OSM Road Networks in Urban Areas
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2493; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102493 - 23 May 2022
Abstract
Remote sensing is the primary way to extract the impervious surface areas (ISAs). However, the obstruction of vegetation is a long-standing challenge that prevents the accurate extraction of urban ISAs. Currently, there are no general and systematic methods to solve the problem. In [...] Read more.
Remote sensing is the primary way to extract the impervious surface areas (ISAs). However, the obstruction of vegetation is a long-standing challenge that prevents the accurate extraction of urban ISAs. Currently, there are no general and systematic methods to solve the problem. In this paper, we present a morphological feature-oriented algorithm, which can make use of the OSM road network information to remove the obscuring effects when the ISAs are extracted. Very high resolution (VHR) images of Wuhan, China, were used in experiments to verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can improve the accuracy and completeness of ISA extraction by our previous deep learning-based algorithm. In the proposed algorithm, the overall accuracy (OA) is 86.64%. The results show that the proposed algorithm is feasible and can extract the vegetation-obscured ISAs effectively and precisely. Full article
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Article
A Real-Time GNSS-R System for Monitoring Sea Surface Wind Speed and Significant Wave Height
Sensors 2022, 22(10), 3795; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103795 - 17 May 2022
Abstract
This paper presents a monitoring system based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflected signals to provide real-time observations of sea conditions. Instead of a computer, the system uses a custom-built hardware platform that incorporates Radio Frequency (RF), Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), [...] Read more.
This paper presents a monitoring system based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflected signals to provide real-time observations of sea conditions. Instead of a computer, the system uses a custom-built hardware platform that incorporates Radio Frequency (RF), Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), Digital Signal Processing (DSP), and Raspberry Pi for real-time signal processing. The suggested structure completes the navigation signal’s positioning as well as the reflected signal’s feature extraction. Field tests are conducted to confirm the effectiveness of the system and the retrieval algorithm described in this research. The entire system collects and analyzes signals at a coastal site in the field experiment, producing sea surface wind speed and significant wave height (SWH) that are compared to local weather station data, demonstrating the system’s practicality. The system can allow the centralized monitoring of many sites, as well as field experiments and real-time early warning at sea. Full article
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Article
Challenges in Diurnal Humidity Analysis from Cellular Microwave Links (CML) over Germany
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2353; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102353 - 12 May 2022
Abstract
Near-surface humidity is a crucial variable in many atmospheric processes, mostly related to the development of clouds and rain. The humidity at the height of a few tens of meters above ground level is highly influenced by surface characteristics. Measuring the near-surface humidity [...] Read more.
Near-surface humidity is a crucial variable in many atmospheric processes, mostly related to the development of clouds and rain. The humidity at the height of a few tens of meters above ground level is highly influenced by surface characteristics. Measuring the near-surface humidity at high resolution, where most of the humidity’s sinks and sources are found, is a challenging task using classical tools. A novel approach for measuring the humidity is based on commercial microwave links (CML), which provide a large part of the cellular networks backhaul. This study focuses on employing humidity measurements with high spatio–temporal resolution in Germany. One major goal is to assess the errors and the environmental influence by comparing the CML-derived humidity to in-situ humidity measurements at weather stations and reanalysis (COSMO-Rea6) products. The method of retrieving humidity from the CML has been improved as compared to previous studies due to the use of new data at high temporal resolution. The results show a similar correlation on average and generally good agreement between both the CML retrievals and the reanalysis, and 32 weather stations near Siegen, West Germany (CML—0.84, Rea6—0.85). Higher correlations are observed for CML-derived humidity during the daytime (0.85), especially between 9–17 LT (0.87) and a maximum at 12 LT (0.90). During the night, the correlations are lower on average (0.81), with a minimum at 3 LT (0.74). These results are discussed with attention to the diurnal boundary layer (BL) height variation which has a strong effect on the BL humidity temporal profile. Further metrics including root mean square errors, mean values and standard deviations, were also calculated. Full article
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Article
Influence of Open-Pit Coal Mining on Ground Surface Deformation of Permafrost in the Muli Region in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2352; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102352 - 12 May 2022
Abstract
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is the largest mid-to low latitude and high-altitude permafrost. Open-pit coal mining and other activities have caused serious damage to the alpine ecological environment and have accelerated the degradation of permafrost on the QTP. In this study, the influence [...] Read more.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is the largest mid-to low latitude and high-altitude permafrost. Open-pit coal mining and other activities have caused serious damage to the alpine ecological environment and have accelerated the degradation of permafrost on the QTP. In this study, the influence of open-pit coal mining on the time series ground surface deformation of the permafrost in the Muli region of the QTP was analyzed from 19 January 2018 to 22 December 2020 based on Landsat, Gaofen, and Sentinel remote sensing data. The primary methods include human-computer interactive visual interpretation and the small baseline subsets interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SBAS-InSAR) method. The results showed that the spatial distribution of displacement velocity exhibits a considerably different pattern in the Muli region. Alpine meadow is the main land use/land cover (LULC) in the Muli region, and the surface displacement was mainly subsidence. The surface subsidence trend in alpine marsh meadows was obvious, with a subsidence displacement velocity of 10–30 mm/a. Under the influence of changes in temperature, the permafrost surface displacement was characteristics of regular thaw subsidence and freeze uplift. Surface deformation of the mining area is relatively severe, with maximum uplift displacement velocity of 74.31 mm/a and maximum subsidence displacement velocity of 167.51 mm/a. Open-pit coal mining had resulted in the destruction of 48.73 km2 of natural landscape in the Muli region. Mining development in the Muli region had increased the soil moisture of the alpine marsh meadow around the mining area, resulting in considerable cumulative displacement near the mining area and the acceleration of permafrost degradation. Full article
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Technical Note
Investigating the Magnetotelluric Responses in Electrical Anisotropic Media
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2328; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102328 - 11 May 2022
Abstract
When interpreting magnetotelluric (MT) data, because of the inherent anisotropy of the earth, considering electrical anisotropy is crucial. Accordingly, using the edge-based finite element method, we calculated the responses of MT data for electrical isotropic and anisotropic models, and subsequently used the anisotropy [...] Read more.
When interpreting magnetotelluric (MT) data, because of the inherent anisotropy of the earth, considering electrical anisotropy is crucial. Accordingly, using the edge-based finite element method, we calculated the responses of MT data for electrical isotropic and anisotropic models, and subsequently used the anisotropy index and polar plot to depict MT responses. High values of the anisotropy index were mainly yielded at the boundary domains of anomalous bodies for isotropy cases because the conductive differences among isotropic anomalous bodies or among anomalous bodies and background earth can be regarded as macro-anisotropy. However, they only appeared across anomalous bodies in the anisotropy cases. The anisotropy index can directly differentiate isotropy from anisotropy but exhibits difficulty in reflecting the azimuth of the principal conductivities. For the isotropy cases, polar plots are approximately circular and become curves with a big ratio of the major axis to minor axis, such as an 8-shaped curve for the anisotropic earth. Furthermore, the polar plot can reveal the directions of principal conductivities. However, distorted by anomalous bodies, polar plots with a large ratio of the major axis to minor axis occur in isotropic domains around the anomalous bodies, which may lead to the misinterpretation of these domains as anisotropic earth. Therefore, combining the anisotropy index with a polar plot facilitates the identification of the electrical anisotropy. Full article
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Article
Application of Gaofen-6 Images in the Downscaling of Land Surface Temperatures
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2307; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102307 - 10 May 2022
Abstract
The coarse resolution of land surface temperatures (LSTs) retrieved from thermal-infrared (TIR) satellite images restricts their usage. One way to improve the resolution of such LSTs is downscaling using high-resolution remote sensing images. Herein, Gaofen-6 (GF-6) and Landsat-8 images were used to obtain [...] Read more.
The coarse resolution of land surface temperatures (LSTs) retrieved from thermal-infrared (TIR) satellite images restricts their usage. One way to improve the resolution of such LSTs is downscaling using high-resolution remote sensing images. Herein, Gaofen-6 (GF-6) and Landsat-8 images were used to obtain original and retrieved LSTs (Landsat-8- and GF-6-retrieved-LSTs) to perform LST downscaling in the Ebinur Lake Watershed. Downscaling model was constructed, and the regression kernel was explored. The results of downscaling LST using the GF-6 normalized difference vegetation index with red-edge band 2, ratio built-up index, normalized difference sand index, and normalized difference water index as multi-remote sensing indices with multiple remote sensing indices with random forest regression method provided optimal downscaling results, with R2 of 0.836, 0.918, and 0.941, root mean square difference of 1.04 K, 2.06 K, and 1.80 K, and the number of pixels with LST errors between −1 K and +1 K of 87.2%, 76.4%, and 81.9%, respectively. The expression of spatial distribution of 16 m-LST downscaling results corresponded with that of Landsat-8- and GF-6-retrieved-LST, and provided additional details spatial description of LST variations, which was absent in the Landsat-8- and GF-6-retrieved LSTs. The results of downscaling LST could satisfy the application requirements of LST spatial resolution. Full article
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Article
OpenHSI: A Complete Open-Source Hyperspectral Imaging Solution for Everyone
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2244; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092244 - 07 May 2022
Abstract
OpenHSI is an initiative to lower the barriers of entry and bring compact pushbroom hyperspectral imaging spectrometers to a wider audience. We present an open-source optical design that can be replicated with readily available commercial-off-the-shelf components, and an open-source software platform openhsi that [...] Read more.
OpenHSI is an initiative to lower the barriers of entry and bring compact pushbroom hyperspectral imaging spectrometers to a wider audience. We present an open-source optical design that can be replicated with readily available commercial-off-the-shelf components, and an open-source software platform openhsi that simplifies the process of capturing calibrated hyperspectral datacubes. Some of the features that the software stack provides include: an ISO 19115-2 metadata editor, wavelength calibration, a fast smile correction method, radiance conversion, atmospheric correction using 6SV (an open-source radiative transfer code), and empirical line calibration. A pipeline was developed to customise the desired processing and make openhsi practical for real-time use. We used the OpenHSI optical design and software stack successfully in the field and verified the performance using calibration tarpaulins. By providing all the tools needed to collect documented hyperspectral datasets, our work empowers practitioners who may not have the financial or technical capability to operate commercial hyperspectral imagers, and opens the door for applications in new problem domains. Full article
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Article
A Parallel Method for Texture Reconstruction in Large-Scale 3D Automatic Modeling Based on Oblique Photography
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092160 - 30 Apr 2022
Abstract
Common methods of texture reconstruction first build a visual list for each triangular face, and then select the best image for each triangular face based on the graph-cut method. These methods have problems such as high memory consumption, and difficulties in large-area texture [...] Read more.
Common methods of texture reconstruction first build a visual list for each triangular face, and then select the best image for each triangular face based on the graph-cut method. These methods have problems such as high memory consumption, and difficulties in large-area texture reconstruction. Hence, this paper proposes a parallel method for texture reconstruction in large-scale 3D automatic modeling. First, the hierarchical relationships between the texture reconstruction are calculated in accordance with the adjacency relationships between partitioning cells. Second, building contours are extracted based on the 3D mesh model, the tiles are divided into two categories (occlusion and non-occlusion), and the incorrect occlusion relationship is restored based on the occluded tiles. Then, the graph-cut algorithm is constructed to select the best-view label. Finally, the jagged labels between adjacent labels are smoothed to alleviate the problem of texture seams. Oblique photography data from an area of 10 km2 in Dongying, Shandong were used for validation. The experimental results reveal the following: (i) concerning reconstruction efficiency, the Waechter method can perform texture reconstruction only in a small area, whereas with the proposed method, the size of the reconstruction area is not restricted. The memory consumption is improved by factors of approximately 2–13. (ii) Concerning reconstruction results, the Waechter method incorrectly reconstructs the textures of partially occluded regions at the tile edges, while the proposed method can reconstruct the textures correctly. (iii) Compared to the Waechter method, the proposed approach has a 30% lower reduction in the number of texture fragments. Full article
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Article
Online Sparse DOA Estimation Based on Sub–Aperture Recursive LASSO for TDM–MIMO Radar
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2133; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092133 - 29 Apr 2022
Abstract
The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) algorithm is a promising method for sparse source location in time–division multiplexing (TDM) multiple–input, multiple–output (MIMO) radar systems, with notable performance gains in regard to resolution enhancement and side lobe suppression. However, the current batch [...] Read more.
The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) algorithm is a promising method for sparse source location in time–division multiplexing (TDM) multiple–input, multiple–output (MIMO) radar systems, with notable performance gains in regard to resolution enhancement and side lobe suppression. However, the current batch LASSO algorithm suffers from high–computational complexity when dealing with massive TDM–MIMO observations, due to high–dimensional matrix operations and the large number of iterations. In this paper, an online LASSO method is proposed for efficient direction–of–arrival (DOA) estimation of the TDM–MIMO radar based on the receiving features of the sub–aperture data blocks. This method recursively refines the location parameters for each receive (RX) block observation that becomes available sequentially in time. Compared with the conventional batch LASSO method, the proposed online DOA method makes full use of the TDM–MIMO reception time to improve the real–time performance. Additionally, it allows for much less iterations, avoiding high–dimensional matrix operations, allowing the computational complexity to be reduced from OK3 to OK2. Simulated and real–data results demonstrate the superiority and effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
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Article
QUantitative and Automatic Atmospheric Correction (QUAAC): Application and Validation
Sensors 2022, 22(9), 3280; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22093280 - 25 Apr 2022
Abstract
The difficulty of atmospheric correction based on a radiative transfer model lies in the acquisition of synchronized atmospheric parameters, especially the aerosol optical depth (AOD). At the moment, there is no fully automatic and high-efficiency atmospheric correction method to make full use of [...] Read more.
The difficulty of atmospheric correction based on a radiative transfer model lies in the acquisition of synchronized atmospheric parameters, especially the aerosol optical depth (AOD). At the moment, there is no fully automatic and high-efficiency atmospheric correction method to make full use of the advantages of geostationary meteorological satellites in large-scale and efficient atmospheric monitoring. Therefore, a QUantitative and Automatic Atmospheric Correction (QUAAC) method is proposed which can efficiently correct high-spatial-resolution (HSR) satellite images. QUAAC uses the atmospheric aerosol products of geostationary satellites to match the synchronized AOD according to the temporal and spatial information of HSR satellite images. This method solves the problem that the AOD is difficult to obtain or the accuracy is not high enough to meet the demand of atmospheric correction. By using the obtained atmospheric parameters, atmospheric correction is performed to obtain the surface reflectance (SR). The whole process can achieve fully automatic operation without manual intervention. After QUAAC applied to Gaofen-2 (GF-2) HSR satellite and Himawari-8 (H-8) geostationary satellite, the results show that the effect of QUAAC correction is slightly better than that of the Fast Line-of-sight Atmospheric Analysis of Spectral Hypercubes (FLAASH) correction, and the QUAAC−corrected surface spectral curves have good coherence to that of the synchronously measured by field experiments. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Numerical Methods for Transforming UTM Plane Coordinates to Lambert Plane Coordinates
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2056; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092056 - 25 Apr 2022
Abstract
The rapid transformation from UTM (Universal Transverse Mecator) projection to Lambert projection helps to realize timely merging, inversion, and analysis of high-frequency partitioned remote sensing images. In this study, the transformation error and the efficiency of the linear rule approximation method, the improved [...] Read more.
The rapid transformation from UTM (Universal Transverse Mecator) projection to Lambert projection helps to realize timely merging, inversion, and analysis of high-frequency partitioned remote sensing images. In this study, the transformation error and the efficiency of the linear rule approximation method, the improved linear rule approximation method, the hyperbolic transformation method, and the conformal transformation method were compared in transforming the coordinates of sample points on WGS84 (The World Geodetic System 1984)-UTM zonal projections to WGS84-Lambert projection coordinates. The effect of the grid aspect ratio on the coordinate transformation error of the conformal transformation method was examined. In addition, the conformal transformation method-based error spatial pattern of the sample points was analyzed. The results show that the conformal transformation method can better balance error and efficiency than other numerical methods. The error of the conformal transformation method is less affected by grid size. The maximum x-error is less than 0.36 m and the maximum y-error is less than 1.22 m when the grid size reaches 300 km × 300 km. The x- and y-error values decrease when square grids are used; namely, setting the grid aspect ratio close to 1 helps to weaken the effect of increasing grid area on the error. The dispersion of the error distribution and the maximum error of sample points both decrease relative to their minimum distance to the grid edge and stabilize at a minimum distance equal to 70 km. This study can support the rapid integration of massive remote sensing data over large areas. Full article
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Article
Combining Spectral, Spatial-Contextual, and Structural Information in Multispectral UAV Data for Spruce Crown Delineation
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2044; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092044 - 24 Apr 2022
Abstract
Precise delineation of individual tree crowns is critical for accurate forest biophysical parameter estimation, species classification, and ecosystem modelling. Multispectral optical remote sensors mounted on low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can rapidly collect very-high-resolution (VHR) photogrammetric optical data that contain the spectral, spatial, [...] Read more.
Precise delineation of individual tree crowns is critical for accurate forest biophysical parameter estimation, species classification, and ecosystem modelling. Multispectral optical remote sensors mounted on low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can rapidly collect very-high-resolution (VHR) photogrammetric optical data that contain the spectral, spatial, and structural information of trees. State-of-the-art tree crown delineation approaches rely mostly on spectral information and underexploit the spatial-contextual and structural information in VHR photogrammetric multispectral data, resulting in crown delineation errors. Here, we propose the spectral, spatial-contextual, and structural information-based individual tree crown delineation (S3-ITD) method, which accurately delineates individual spruce crowns by minimizing the undesirable effects due to intracrown spectral variance and nonuniform illumination/shadowing in VHR multispectral data. We evaluate the performance of the S3-ITD crown delineation method over a white spruce forest in Quebec, Canada. The highest mean intersection over union (IoU) index of 0.83, and the lowest mean crown-area difference (CAD) of 0.14 m2, proves the superior crown delineation performance of the S3-ITD method over state-of-the-art methods. The reduction in error by 2.4 cm and 1.0 cm for the allometrically derived diameter at breast height (DBH) estimates compared with those from the WS-ITD and the BF-ITD approaches, respectively, demonstrates the effectiveness of the S3-ITD method to accurately estimate biophysical parameters. Full article
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Article
Magnetometric Surveys for the Non-Invasive Surface and Subsurface Interpretation of Volcanic Structures in Planetary Exploration, a Case Study of Several Volcanoes in the Iberian Peninsula
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2039; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092039 - 24 Apr 2022
Abstract
Volcanoes are typical features of the solar system that offer a window into the interior of planets. Thus, their study can improve the understanding of the interiors and evolution of planets. On Earth, volcanoes are monitored by multiple sensors during their dormant and [...] Read more.
Volcanoes are typical features of the solar system that offer a window into the interior of planets. Thus, their study can improve the understanding of the interiors and evolution of planets. On Earth, volcanoes are monitored by multiple sensors during their dormant and active phases. Presently, this is not feasible for other planets’ volcanoes. However, robotic vehicles and the recent technological demonstration of Ingenuity on Mars open up the possibility of using the powerful and non-destructive geophysical tool of magnetic surveys at different heights, for the investigation of surfaces and subsurfaces. We propose a methodology with a view to extract information from planetary volcanoes in the short and medium term, which comprises an analysis of the morphology using images, magnetic field surveys at different heights, in situ measurements of magnetic susceptibility, and simplified models for the interpretation of geological structures. This methodology is applied successfully to the study of different examples of the main volcanic zones of the Iberian Peninsula, representative of the Martian intraplate volcanism and similar to Venus domes, as a preparatory action prior to the exploration of the rocky planets’ surfaces. Full article
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Article
Field Campaign Evaluation of Sensors Lufft GMX500 and MaxiMet WS100 in Peruvian Central Andes
Sensors 2022, 22(9), 3219; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22093219 - 22 Apr 2022
Abstract
The research presents the inter-comparison of atmospheric variables measured by 9 automatic weather stations. This set of data was compared with the measurements of other weather stations in order to standardize the values that must be adjusted when taken to different areas. The [...] Read more.
The research presents the inter-comparison of atmospheric variables measured by 9 automatic weather stations. This set of data was compared with the measurements of other weather stations in order to standardize the values that must be adjusted when taken to different areas. The data of a set of a total of 9 GMX500, which measures conventional meteorological variables, and 10 WS100 sensors, which measures precipitation parameters. The automatic stations were set up at the Huancayo Observatory (Geophysical Institute of Peru) for a period of 5 months. The data set of GMX500 were evaluated comparing with the average of the 9 sensors and the WS100 was compared with an optical disdrometer Parsivel2. The temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed, rainfall rate, and drop size distribution were evaluated. A pair of GMX500 sensors presented high data dispersion; it was found found that the errors came from a bad configuration; once this problem was solved, good agreement was archived, with low RMSE and high correlation. It was found that the WS100 sensors overestimate the precipitation with a percentage bias close to 100% and the differences increase with the greater intensity of rain. The drop size distribution retrieved by WS100 have unrealistic behavior with higher concentrations in diameters of 1 mm and 5 mm, in addition to a flattened curve. Full article
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Article
A Real-Time Effectiveness Evaluation Method for Remote Sensing Satellite Clusters on Moving Targets
Sensors 2022, 22(8), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22082993 - 13 Apr 2022
Abstract
Recently, remote sensing satellites have become increasingly important in the Earth observation field as their temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions have improved. Subsequently, the quantitative evaluation of remote sensing satellites has received considerable attention. The quantitative evaluation method is conventionally based on simulation, [...] Read more.
Recently, remote sensing satellites have become increasingly important in the Earth observation field as their temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions have improved. Subsequently, the quantitative evaluation of remote sensing satellites has received considerable attention. The quantitative evaluation method is conventionally based on simulation, but it has a speed-accuracy trade-off. In this paper, a real-time evaluation model architecture for remote sensing satellite clusters is proposed. Firstly, a multi-physical field coupling simulation model of the satellite cluster to observe moving targets is established. Aside from considering the repercussions of on-board resource constraints, it also considers the consequences of the imaging’s uncertainty effects on observation results. Secondly, a moving target observation indicator system is developed, which reflects the satellite cluster’s actual effectiveness in orbit. Meanwhile, an indicator screening method using correlation analysis is proposed to improve the independence of the indicator system. Thirdly, a neural network is designed and trained for stakeholders to realize a rapid evaluation. Different network structures and parameters are comprehensively studied to determine the optimized neural network model. Finally, based on the experiments carried out, the proposed neural network evaluation model can generate real-time, high-quality evaluation results. Hence, the validity of our proposed approach is substantiated. Full article
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Article
SAR Target Recognition Using cGAN-Based SAR-to-Optical Image Translation
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(8), 1793; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14081793 - 08 Apr 2022
Abstract
Target recognition in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery suffers from speckle noise and geometric distortion brought by the range-based coherent imaging mechanism. A new SAR target recognition system is proposed, using a SAR-to-optical translation network as pre-processing to enhance both automatic and manual [...] Read more.
Target recognition in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery suffers from speckle noise and geometric distortion brought by the range-based coherent imaging mechanism. A new SAR target recognition system is proposed, using a SAR-to-optical translation network as pre-processing to enhance both automatic and manual target recognition. In the system, SAR images of targets are translated into optical by a modified conditional generative adversarial network (cGAN) whose generator with a symmetric architecture and inhomogeneous convolution kernels is designed to reduce the background clutter and edge blur of the output. After the translation, a typical convolutional neural network (CNN) classifier is exploited to recognize the target types in translated optical images automatically. For training and testing the system, a new multi-view SAR-optical dataset of aircraft targets is created. Evaluations of the translation results based on human vision and image quality assessment (IQA) methods verify the improvement of image interpretability and quality, and translated images obtain higher average accuracy than original SAR data in manual and CNN classification experiments. The good expansibility and robustness of the system shown in extending experiments indicate the promising potential for practical applications of SAR target recognition. Full article
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Technical Note
Resolution Enhancement of SMAP Passive Soil Moisture Estimates
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1761; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071761 - 06 Apr 2022
Abstract
The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission includes a unique combination of instruments intended to provide daily global soil moisture data with high accuracy and resolution. Due to radar instrument failure, the default resolution of the data product decreased from the intended 9 [...] Read more.
The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission includes a unique combination of instruments intended to provide daily global soil moisture data with high accuracy and resolution. Due to radar instrument failure, the default resolution of the data product decreased from the intended 9 km to 36 km shortly after the mission started to return data. To improve this, we employed the Scatterometer Image Reconstruction algorithm in its radiometer form (rSIR) to enhance the resolution of the radiometer brightness temperature measurements from which the soil moisture was derived. This paper compares the soil moisture estimates created from the rSIR-enhanced brightness temperatures with SMAP project radiometer L2_SM_SP and SMAP-Sentinel L2_SM_P products reported on 9 km and 3 km grids, respectively. We find that the difference of the rSIR-enhanced passive soil moisture product is generally within 0.020 cm3 cm3 RMS of the 9 km SMAP radiometer L2_SM_SP and 0.045 cm3 cm3 RMS of the 3 km SMAP-Sentinel L2_SM_P soil moisture products. The accuracy of the rSIR soil moisture can be improved by including better antenna pattern correction methods applied to the input TB measurements. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Land Use Change and Driving Mechanisms in Vietnam during the Period 2000–2020
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071600 - 26 Mar 2022
Abstract
High-accuracy, long-time-series and large-scale land classification mapping are essential for assessing the evolutionary patterns of land systems and developing sustainability studies. In this paper, using Google Earth Engine (GEE) and Landsat satellite remote sensing images, based on the Random Forest (RF) algorithm, we [...] Read more.
High-accuracy, long-time-series and large-scale land classification mapping are essential for assessing the evolutionary patterns of land systems and developing sustainability studies. In this paper, using Google Earth Engine (GEE) and Landsat satellite remote sensing images, based on the Random Forest (RF) algorithm, we carried out remote sensing classification to obtain a year-by-year land use/cover data set in Vietnam over the past 21 years (2000–2020). Further applying principal component analysis and multiple linear regression methods, we examined the spatio-temporal characteristics, dynamic changes and driving mechanisms of land use change. The results show the following: (1) The RF classification algorithm supported by the GEE can quickly and accurately obtain a land use/cover data set. The overall classification accuracy is 0.91 ± 0.01. (2) The land cover types in Vietnam are dominated by woodland and cropland, with an area share of 54.62% and 37.90%, respectively. In the past 20 years, the area of built-up land has increased the most (+93.49%), followed by the area of water bodies (+54.19%), while the area of woodland has remained almost unchanged. (3) The expansion of built-up land is driven by regional economic development; the area changes in cropland, water bodies and woodland are influenced by both national economic development and climate change. The results of the study provide a basis for assessing land use policies in Vietnam and a reference methodological framework for rapid land mapping and analysis in other countries in the China–Indochina Peninsula. Full article
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Article
NDSRGAN: A Novel Dense Generative Adversarial Network for Real Aerial Imagery Super-Resolution Reconstruction
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071574 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 1
Abstract
In recent years, more and more researchers have used deep learning methods for super-resolution reconstruction and have made good progress. However, most of the existing super-resolution reconstruction models generate low-resolution images for training by downsampling high-resolution images through bicubic interpolation, and the models [...] Read more.
In recent years, more and more researchers have used deep learning methods for super-resolution reconstruction and have made good progress. However, most of the existing super-resolution reconstruction models generate low-resolution images for training by downsampling high-resolution images through bicubic interpolation, and the models trained from these data have poor reconstruction results on real-world low-resolution images. In the field of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aerial photography, the use of existing super-resolution reconstruction models in reconstructing real-world low-resolution aerial images captured by UAVs is prone to producing some artifacts, texture detail distortion and other problems, due to compression and fusion processing of the aerial images, thereby resulting in serious loss of texture detail in the obtained low-resolution aerial images. To address this problem, this paper proposes a novel dense generative adversarial network for real aerial imagery super-resolution reconstruction (NDSRGAN), and we produce image datasets with paired high- and low-resolution real aerial remote sensing images. In the generative network, we use a multilevel dense network to connect the dense connections in a residual dense block. In the discriminative network, we use a matrix mean discriminator that can discriminate the generated images locally, no longer discriminating the whole input image using a single value but instead in chunks of regions. We also use smoothL1 loss instead of the L1 loss used in most existing super-resolution models, to accelerate the model convergence and reach the global optimum faster. Compared with traditional models, our model can better utilise the feature information in the original image and discriminate the image in patches. A series of experiments is conducted with real aerial imagery datasets, and the results show that our model achieves good performance on quantitative metrics and visual perception. Full article
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Article
Robust Clutter Suppression and Radial Velocity Estimation for High-Resolution Wide-Swath SAR-GMTI
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1555; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071555 - 23 Mar 2022
Abstract
Moving targets are usually smeared and imaged at incorrect positions in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images due to the target motions during the illumination time. Moreover, a moving target will cause multiple artifacts in the reconstructed image since pulse repetition frequency (PRF) operated [...] Read more.
Moving targets are usually smeared and imaged at incorrect positions in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images due to the target motions during the illumination time. Moreover, a moving target will cause multiple artifacts in the reconstructed image since pulse repetition frequency (PRF) operated in high-resolution wide-swath (HRWS) SAR is very low. In order to reliably indicate moving targets, a robust cancellation algorithm is derived in this paper for clutter suppression in multichannel HRWS SAR, which is free by velocity searching and covariance matrix estimation of clutter plus noise. The proposed multilayer channel-cancellation combined with the deramp processing is designed to sequentially suppress the seriously aliased clutter in HRWS SAR. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is efficient and robust in tough situations, and have a superior detection ability in weak targets and low-velocity targets. In addition, the radial velocity estimation algorithm combined with the channel cancellation is exploited to relocate moving targets. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithms is validated by actual spaceborne SAR data acquired by a coordination experiment with two controllable vehicles. Full article
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Article
Cycle and Self-Supervised Consistency Training for Adapting Semantic Segmentation of Aerial Images
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1527; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071527 - 22 Mar 2022
Abstract
Semantic segmentation is a critical problem for many remote sensing (RS) image applications. Benefiting from large-scale pixel-level labeled data and the continuous evolution of deep neural network architectures, the performance of semantic segmentation approaches has been constantly improved. However, deploying a well-trained model [...] Read more.
Semantic segmentation is a critical problem for many remote sensing (RS) image applications. Benefiting from large-scale pixel-level labeled data and the continuous evolution of deep neural network architectures, the performance of semantic segmentation approaches has been constantly improved. However, deploying a well-trained model on unseen and diverse testing environments remains a major challenge: a large gap between data distributions in train and test domains results in severe performance loss, while manual dense labeling is costly and not scalable. To this end, we proposed an unsupervised domain adaptation framework for RS image semantic segmentation that is both practical and effective. The framework is supported by the consistency principle, including the cycle consistency in the input space and self-supervised consistency in the training stage. Specifically, we introduce cycle-consistent generative adversarial networks to reduce the discrepancy between source and target distributions by translating one into the other. The translated source data then drive a pipeline of supervised semantic segmentation model training. We enforce consistency of model predictions across target image transformations in order to provide self-supervision for the unlabeled target data. Experiments and extensive ablation studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach on two challenging benchmarks, on which we achieve up to 9.95% and 7.53% improvements in accuracy over the state-of-the-art methods, respectively. Full article
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Article
Automated Delineation of Microstands in Hemiboreal Mixed Forests Using Stereo GeoEye-1 Data
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(6), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14061471 - 18 Mar 2022
Abstract
A microstand is a small forest area with a homogeneous tree species, height, and density composition. High-spatial-resolution GeoEye-1 multispectral (MS) images and GeoEye-1-based canopy height models (CHMs) allow delineating microstands automatically. This paper studied the potential benefits of two microstand segmentation workflows: (1) [...] Read more.
A microstand is a small forest area with a homogeneous tree species, height, and density composition. High-spatial-resolution GeoEye-1 multispectral (MS) images and GeoEye-1-based canopy height models (CHMs) allow delineating microstands automatically. This paper studied the potential benefits of two microstand segmentation workflows: (1) our modification of JSEG and (2) generic region merging (GRM) of the Orfeo Toolbox, both intended for the microstand border refinement and automated stand volume estimation in hemiboreal forests. Our modification of JSEG uses a CHM as the primary data source for segmentation by refining the results using MS data. Meanwhile, the CHM and multispectral data fusion were achieved as multiband segmentation for the GRM workflow. The accuracy was evaluated using several sets of metrics (unsupervised, supervised direct assessment, and system-level assessment). Metrics were calculated for a regular segment grid to check the benefits compared with the simple image patches. The metrics showed very similar results for both workflows. The most successful combinations in the workflow parameters retrieved over 75 % of the boundaries selected by a human interpreter. However, the impact of data fusion and parameter combinations on stand volume estimation accuracy was minimal, causing variations of the RMSE within approximately 7 m3/ha. Full article
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Article
Assessing Obukhov Length and Friction Velocity from Floating Lidar Observations: A Data Screening and Sensitivity Computation Approach
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(6), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14061394 - 14 Mar 2022
Abstract
This work presents a parametric-solver algorithm for estimating atmospheric stability and friction velocity from floating Doppler wind lidar (FDWL) observations close to the mast of IJmuiden in the North Sea. The focus of the study was two-fold: (i) to examine the sensitivity of [...] Read more.
This work presents a parametric-solver algorithm for estimating atmospheric stability and friction velocity from floating Doppler wind lidar (FDWL) observations close to the mast of IJmuiden in the North Sea. The focus of the study was two-fold: (i) to examine the sensitivity of the computational algorithm to the retrieved variables and derived stability classes (the latter through confusion-matrix theory), and (ii) to present data screening procedures for FDWLs and fixed reference instrumentation. The performance of the stability estimation algorithm was assessed with reference to wind speed and temperature observations from the mast. A fixed-to-mast Doppler wind lidar (DWL) was also available, which provides a reference for wind-speed observations free from sea-motion perturbations. When comparing FDWL- and mast-derived mean wind speeds, the obtained determination coefficient was as high as that of the fixed-to-mast DWL against the mast (ρ2=0.996) with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.25 m/s. From the 82-day measurement campaign at IJmuiden (10,833 10 min records), the parametric algorithm showed that the atmosphere was neutral (31% of the cases), stable (28%), or near-neutral stable (19%) during most of the campaign. These figures satisfactorily agree with values estimated from the mast measurements (31%, 27%, and 19%, respectively). Full article
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Article
The Campo de Dalias GNSS Network Unveils the Interaction between Roll-Back and Indentation Tectonics in the Gibraltar Arc
Sensors 2022, 22(6), 2128; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22062128 - 09 Mar 2022
Abstract
The Gibraltar Arc includes the Betic and Rif Cordilleras surrounding the Alboran Sea; it is formed at the northwest–southeast Eurasia–Nubia convergent plate boundary in the westernmost Mediterranean. Since 2006, the Campo de Dalias GNSS network has monitored active tectonic deformation of the most [...] Read more.
The Gibraltar Arc includes the Betic and Rif Cordilleras surrounding the Alboran Sea; it is formed at the northwest–southeast Eurasia–Nubia convergent plate boundary in the westernmost Mediterranean. Since 2006, the Campo de Dalias GNSS network has monitored active tectonic deformation of the most seismically active area on the north coast of the Alboran Sea. Our results show that the residual deformation rates with respect to Eurasia range from 1.7 to 3.0 mm/year; roughly homogenous west-southwestward displacements of the northern sites occur, while the southern sites evidence irregular displacements towards the west and northwest. This deformation pattern supports simultaneous east-northeast–west-southwest extension, accommodated by normal and oblique faults, and north-northwest–south-southeast shortening that develops east-northeast–west-southwest folds. Moreover, the GNSS results point to dextral creep of the main northwest–southeast Balanegra Fault. These GNNS results thus reveal, for the first time, present-day interaction of the roll-back tectonics of the Rif–Gibraltar–Betic slab in the western part of the Gibraltar Arc with the indentation tectonics affecting the eastern and southern areas, providing new insights for improving tectonic models of arcuate orogens. Full article
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Article
Efficient Depth Fusion Transformer for Aerial Image Semantic Segmentation
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051294 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 1
Abstract
Taking depth into consideration has been proven to improve the performance of semantic segmentation through providing additional geometry information. Most existing works adopt a two-stream network, extracting features from color images and depth images separately using two branches of the same structure, which [...] Read more.
Taking depth into consideration has been proven to improve the performance of semantic segmentation through providing additional geometry information. Most existing works adopt a two-stream network, extracting features from color images and depth images separately using two branches of the same structure, which suffer from high memory and computation costs. We find that depth features acquired by simple downsampling can also play a complementary part in the semantic segmentation task, sometimes even better than the two-stream scheme with the same two branches. In this paper, a novel and efficient depth fusion transformer network for aerial image segmentation is proposed. The presented network utilizes patch merging to downsample depth input and a depth-aware self-attention (DSA) module is designed to mitigate the gap caused by difference between two branches and two modalities. Concretely, the DSA fuses depth features and color features by computing depth similarity and impact on self-attention map calculated by color feature. Extensive experiments on the ISPRS 2D semantic segmentation dataset validate the efficiency and effectiveness of our method. With nearly half the parameters of traditional two-stream scheme, our method acquires 83.82% mIoU on Vaihingen dataset outperforming other state-of-the-art methods and 87.43% mIoU on Potsdam dataset comparable to the state-of-the-art. Full article
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Article
LSTNet: A Reference-Based Learning Spectral Transformer Network for Spectral Super-Resolution
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051978 - 03 Mar 2022
Abstract
Hyperspectral images (HSIs) are data cubes containing rich spectral information, making them beneficial to many Earth observation missions. However, due to the limitations of the associated imaging systems and their sensors, such as the swath width and revisit period, hyperspectral imagery over a [...] Read more.
Hyperspectral images (HSIs) are data cubes containing rich spectral information, making them beneficial to many Earth observation missions. However, due to the limitations of the associated imaging systems and their sensors, such as the swath width and revisit period, hyperspectral imagery over a large coverage area cannot be acquired in a short amount of time. Spectral super-resolution (SSR) is a method that involves learning the relationship between a multispectral image (MSI) and an HSI, based on the overlap region, followed by reconstruction of the HSI by making full use of the large swath width of the MSI, thereby improving its coverage. Much research has been conducted recently to address this issue, but most existing methods mainly learn the prior spectral information from training data, lacking constraints on the resulting spectral fidelity. To address this problem, a novel learning spectral transformer network (LSTNet) is proposed in this paper, utilizing a reference-based learning strategy to transfer the spectral structure knowledge of a reference HSI to create a reasonable reconstruction spectrum. More specifically, a spectral transformer module (STM) and a spectral reconstruction module (SRM) are designed, in order to exploit the prior and reference spectral information. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method has the ability to produce high-fidelity reconstructed spectra. Full article
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Article
Remote Sensing Image Denoising Based on Deep and Shallow Feature Fusion and Attention Mechanism
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051243 - 03 Mar 2022
Abstract
Optical remote sensing images are widely used in the fields of feature recognition, scene semantic segmentation, and others. However, the quality of remote sensing images is degraded due to the influence of various noises, which seriously affects the practical use of remote sensing [...] Read more.
Optical remote sensing images are widely used in the fields of feature recognition, scene semantic segmentation, and others. However, the quality of remote sensing images is degraded due to the influence of various noises, which seriously affects the practical use of remote sensing images. As remote sensing images have more complex texture features than ordinary images, this will lead to the previous denoising algorithm failing to achieve the desired result. Therefore, we propose a novel remote sensing image denoising network (RSIDNet) based on a deep learning approach, which mainly consists of a multi-scale feature extraction module (MFE), multiple local skip-connected enhanced attention blocks (ECA), a global feature fusion block (GFF), and a noisy image reconstruction block (NR). The combination of these modules greatly improves the model’s use of the extracted features and increases the model’s denoising capability. Extensive experiments on synthetic Gaussian noise datasets and real noise datasets have shown that RSIDNet achieves satisfactory results. RSIDNet can improve the loss of detail information in denoised images in traditional denoising methods, retaining more of the higher-frequency components, which can have performance improvements for subsequent image processing. Full article
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Article
Analytical Models for Multipath and Switch Leakage for the SWOT Interferometer
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051931 - 01 Mar 2022
Abstract
The Ka-Band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument on the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is a single-pass synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometer tasked with, among others, measuring ocean topography to within a few centimeters over kilometer scale resolutions. A SAR interferometer relies [...] Read more.
The Ka-Band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument on the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is a single-pass synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometer tasked with, among others, measuring ocean topography to within a few centimeters over kilometer scale resolutions. A SAR interferometer relies on very precise phase difference measurements between two spatially distant antennas to estimate topography. Multipath phase caused by unintended scattering off the spacecraft structure is a known error source for radar interferometers and takes up a significant portion of the KaRIn error budget. This paper outlines some analytical multipath models that were used for instrument design, performance analysis and mitigation of the multipath signal. Full article
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Article
Precipitation and Soil Moisture Spatio-Temporal Variability and Extremes over Vietnam (1981–2019): Understanding Their Links to Rice Yield
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051906 - 01 Mar 2022
Abstract
Vietnam, one of the three leading rice producers globally, has recently seen an increased threat to its rice production emanating from climate extremes (floods and droughts). Understanding spatio-temporal variability in precipitation and soil moisture is essential for policy formulations to adapt and cope [...] Read more.
Vietnam, one of the three leading rice producers globally, has recently seen an increased threat to its rice production emanating from climate extremes (floods and droughts). Understanding spatio-temporal variability in precipitation and soil moisture is essential for policy formulations to adapt and cope with the impacts of climate extremes on rice production in Vietnam. Adopting a higher-order statistical method of independent component analysis (ICA), this study explores the spatio-temporal variability in the Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation Station’s (CHIRPS) precipitation and the Global Land Data Assimilation System’s (GLDAS) soil moisture products. The results indicate an agreement between monthly CHIRPS precipitation and monthly GLDAS soil moisture with the wetter period over the southern and South Central Coast areas that is latter than that over the northern and North Central Coast areas. However, the spatial patterns of annual mean precipitation and soil moisture disagree, likely due to factors other than precipitation affecting the amount of moisture in the soil layers, e.g., temperature, irrigation, and drainage systems, which are inconsistent between areas. The CHIRPS Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is useful in capturing climate extremes, and the GLDAS Standardized Soil Moisture Index (SSI) is useful in identifying the influences of climate extremes on rice production in Vietnam. During the 2016–2018 period, there existed a reduction in the residual rice yield that was consistent with a decrease in soil moisture during the same time period. Full article
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Article
In-Flight Relative Radiometric Calibration of a Wide Field of View Directional Polarimetric Camera Based on the Rayleigh Scattering over Ocean
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051211 - 01 Mar 2022
Abstract
The directional polarimetric camera (DPC) is a Chinese satellite sensor with a large field of view (FOV) (±50° both along-track and cross-track) and a high spatial resolution (about 3.3 km at nadir) that operates in a sun-synchronous orbit. It is a difficult task [...] Read more.
The directional polarimetric camera (DPC) is a Chinese satellite sensor with a large field of view (FOV) (±50° both along-track and cross-track) and a high spatial resolution (about 3.3 km at nadir) that operates in a sun-synchronous orbit. It is a difficult task to calibrate the in-flight relative radiometric variation of the sensors with such a wide FOV. In this study, a new method based on Rayleigh scattering over the ocean is developed to estimate the radiometric sensitivity variation over the whole FOV of DPC. Firstly, the theoretical uncertainty of the method is analyzed to calibrate the relative radiometric response. The calibration uncertainties are about 2–6.9% (depending on the wavelength) when the view zenith angle (VZA) is 0° and decrease to about 1–3.8% when VZA increases to 70°. Then, the method is applied to evaluate the long-term radiometric drift of the DPC. It is found that the radiometric response of DPC/GaoFen-5 over the whole FOV is progressively drifting over time. The sensitivity at shorter bands decreases more strongly than longer bands, and at the central part of the optics decreases more strongly than the marginal part. During the 14 months (from March 2019 to April 2020) of operational running in-orbit, the DPC radiometric responses of 443 nm, 490 nm, 565 nm, and 670 nm bands drifted by about 4.44–23.08%, 4.75–16.22%, 3.86–9.81%, and 4.7–16.86%, respectively, from the marginal to the central part of the FOV. The radiometric sensitivity has become more stable since January 2020. The monthly radiometric drift is separated into the relative radiometric part and the absolute radiometric part. The relative radiometric drift of DPC is found to be smoothly varying with VZA, which can be parameterized as a polynomial function via VZA. At last, the temporal radiometric drift of DPC/GaoFen-5 is corrected by combining the relative and absolute radiometric coefficients. The correction is convincing by cross calibration with MODIS/Aqua observation over the desert sites and improving the aerosol retrievals. The Rayleigh method in this study is efficient for the radiometric sensitivity calibration of wide FOV satellite sensors. Full article
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Article
Long-Periodic Analysis of Boresight Misalignment of Ziyuan3-01 Three-Line Camera
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051157 - 26 Feb 2022
Abstract
The Ziyuan3-01 (ZY3-01) satellite is China’s first civilian stereo surveying and mapping satellite to meet the 1:50,000 scale mapping requirements, and has been operated in orbit for 10 years. The boresight misalignment of the three-line camera (TLC) is an essential factor affecting the [...] Read more.
The Ziyuan3-01 (ZY3-01) satellite is China’s first civilian stereo surveying and mapping satellite to meet the 1:50,000 scale mapping requirements, and has been operated in orbit for 10 years. The boresight misalignment of the three-line camera (TLC) is an essential factor affecting the geolocation accuracy, which is a principal concern for stereo mapping satellites. However, the relative relationships of TLC are often regarded as fixed for the same ground scene in most traditional geometric calibrations, without considering the on-orbit long-periodic changes. In this paper, we propose a long-periodic method to analyze and estimate the boresight misalignments between three cameras, with the attitude estimation of a nadir (NAD) camera as the benchmark. Offsets and drifts of the three cameras were calculated and calibrated with different compensation models using scale invariant feature transform (SIFT) points as the ground control. Ten simultaneous NAD–Forward (FWD)–Backward (BWD) imagery of the ZY3-01 satellite acquired from 2012 to 2020 were selected to verify the long-periodic changes in TLC boresight misalignments. The results indicate that the boresight alignment angles of ZY3-01 TLC are dynamic during the long-periodic flight, but the structure of TLC is stable for the misalignments of both FWD and BWD within only 7 arc seconds, which can provide a positive reference for subsequent satellite design and long-periodic on-orbit geometric calibration. Full article
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Article
Varying Amplitude Vibration Phase Suppression Algorithm in ISAL Imaging
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051122 - 24 Feb 2022
Abstract
Platform vibration introduces sinusoidal modulation in inverse synthetic aperture lidar (ISAL) imaging, which causes paired echoes in ISAL imaging. In this paper, a varying amplitude vibration phase suppression algorithm is proposed. Working without prior knowledge, the proposed algorithm can suppress paired echoes under [...] Read more.
Platform vibration introduces sinusoidal modulation in inverse synthetic aperture lidar (ISAL) imaging, which causes paired echoes in ISAL imaging. In this paper, a varying amplitude vibration phase suppression algorithm is proposed. Working without prior knowledge, the proposed algorithm can suppress paired echoes under the condition of varying vibration amplitude and will not introduce new phase errors. Furthermore, the method is suitable for the imaging scene without isolated points. Both the simulated and real experiment results of ISAL turntable data demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. Full article
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Technical Note
A Novel Time-Domain Frequency Diverse Array HRWS Imaging Scheme for Spotlight SAR
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051085 - 23 Feb 2022
Abstract
The frequency diverse array (FDA) technique is a novel scheme for high resolution wide swath synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging, which employs a frequency increment across the array elements. This introduces a range-angle-dependence to the transmission steering vector, which is exploited for range [...] Read more.
The frequency diverse array (FDA) technique is a novel scheme for high resolution wide swath synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging, which employs a frequency increment across the array elements. This introduces a range-angle-dependence to the transmission steering vector, which is exploited for range ambiguity resolution in strip-map SAR. Generally in spotlight mode, scatterers dispersively distributed in azimuth have different Doppler histories, in which the range ambiguity resolution for strip-map SAR fails. To extend the flexibility of FDA, in this paper a novel FDA imaging scheme for spotlight mode SAR is proposed. Exploiting the property of the same illuminated period of all scatterers in spotlight mode, the proposed scheme is carried out entirely in the azimuth time domain, which allows for higher processing efficiency and real-time implementations. Still, excessive Doppler history differences among scatterers deteriorate the scheme performance for azimuth-edge scatterers. Aiming at this situation, a residual angle phase compensation in time domain is considered for the cases of a large azimuth beam width, improving the applicability of the proposed scheme. Compared with existing methods, the proposed spotlight FDA-SAR offers the possibility of achieving simultaneously high azimuth resolution and wide swath performance with high efficiency. Simulations and analyses are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed spotlight FDA-SAR scheme. Full article
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Article
An Improved Algorithm for the Retrieval of the Antarctic Sea Ice Freeboard and Thickness from ICESat-2 Altimeter Data
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051069 - 22 Feb 2022
Abstract
ICESat-2 altimeter data could be used to estimate sea ice freeboard and thickness values with a higher measuring accuracy than that achievable with data provided by previous altimeter satellites. This study developed an improved algorithm considering variable lead proportions based on the lowest [...] Read more.
ICESat-2 altimeter data could be used to estimate sea ice freeboard and thickness values with a higher measuring accuracy than that achievable with data provided by previous altimeter satellites. This study developed an improved algorithm considering variable lead proportions based on the lowest point method to derive the sea surface height for the retrieval of Antarctic sea ice freeboard and thickness values from ICESat-2 ATL-07 data. We first collocated ICESat-2 tracks to corresponding Sentinel-1 SAR images and calculated lead (seawater) proportions along each track to estimate the sea surface height in the Antarctic Ocean. Then, the Antarctic sea ice freeboard and thickness were estimated based on a local sea surface height reference and a static equilibrium equation. Finally, we assessed the accuracy of our improved algorithm and ICESat-2 data product in the retrieval of the Antarctic sea ice thickness by comparing the calculated values to ship-based observational sea ice thickness values acquired during the 35th Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE-35). The results indicate that the Antarctic sea ice freeboard estimated with the improved lowest point method was slightly larger than that estimated with the ICESat-2 data product algorithm. The root mean squared error (RMSE) of the improved lowest point method was 35 cm with the CHINARE-35 measured sea ice thickness, which was smaller than that determined with the ICESat-2 data product algorithm (65 cm). Our improved algorithm could provide more accurate data on the Antarctic sea ice freeboard and thickness, thus supporting Antarctic sea ice monitoring and the evaluation of its change under global effects. Full article
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Article
An Integrated Platform for Ground-Motion Mapping, Local to Regional Scale; Examples from SE Europe
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(4), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14041046 - 21 Feb 2022
Abstract
Ground and infrastructure stability are important for our technologically based civilization. Infrastructure projects take into consideration the risk posed by ground displacement (e.g., seismicity, geological conditions and geomorphology). To address this risk, earth scientists and civil engineers employ a range of measurement technologies, [...] Read more.
Ground and infrastructure stability are important for our technologically based civilization. Infrastructure projects take into consideration the risk posed by ground displacement (e.g., seismicity, geological conditions and geomorphology). To address this risk, earth scientists and civil engineers employ a range of measurement technologies, such as optical/laser leveling, GNSS and, lately, SAR interferometry. Currently there is a rich source of measurement information provided in various formats that covers most of the industrialized world. Integration of this information becomes an issue that will only increase in importance in the future. This work describes a practical approach to address and validate integrated stability measurements through the development of a platform that could be easily used by a variety of groups, from geoscientists to civil engineers and also private citizens with no training in this field. The platform enables quick cross-validation between different data sources, easy detection of critical areas at all scales (from large-scale individual buildings to small-scale tectonics) and can be linked to end-users from various monitoring fields and countries for automated notifications. This work is closing the gap between the specialized monitoring work and the general public, delivering the full value of technology for societal benefits in a free and open manner. The platform is calibrated and validated by an application of SAR interferometry data to specific situations in the general area of the Romanian Carpathians and their foreland. The results demonstrate an interplay between anthropogenically induced changes and high-amplitude active tectono–sedimentary processes creating rapid regional and local topographic variations. Full article
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Review
Mapping of Urban Vegetation with High-Resolution Remote Sensing: A Review
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(4), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14041031 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2
Abstract
Green space is increasingly recognized as an important component of the urban environment. Adequate management and planning of urban green space is crucial to maximize its benefits for urban inhabitants and for the urban ecosystem in general. Inventorying urban vegetation is a costly [...] Read more.
Green space is increasingly recognized as an important component of the urban environment. Adequate management and planning of urban green space is crucial to maximize its benefits for urban inhabitants and for the urban ecosystem in general. Inventorying urban vegetation is a costly and time-consuming process. The development of new remote sensing techniques to map and monitor vegetation has therefore become an important topic of interest to many scholars. Based on a comprehensive survey of the literature, this review article provides an overview of the main approaches proposed to map urban vegetation from high-resolution remotely sensed data. Studies are reviewed from three perspectives: (a) the vegetation typology, (b) the remote sensing data used and (c) the mapping approach applied. With regard to vegetation typology, a distinction is made between studies focusing on the mapping of functional vegetation types and studies performing mapping of lower-level taxonomic ranks, with the latter mainly focusing on urban trees. A wide variety of high-resolution imagery has been used by researchers for both types of mapping. The fusion of various types of remote sensing data, as well as the inclusion of phenological information through the use of multi-temporal imagery, prove to be the most promising avenues to improve mapping accuracy. With regard to mapping approaches, the use of deep learning is becoming more established, mostly for the mapping of tree species. Through this survey, several research gaps could be identified. Interest in the mapping of non-tree species in urban environments is still limited. The same holds for the mapping of understory species. Most studies focus on the mapping of public green spaces, while interest in the mapping of private green space is less common. The use of imagery with a high spatial and temporal resolution, enabling the retrieval of phenological information for mapping and monitoring vegetation at the species level, still proves to be limited in urban contexts. Hence, mapping approaches specifically tailored towards time-series analysis and the use of new data sources seem to hold great promise for advancing the field. Finally, unsupervised learning techniques and active learning, so far rarely applied in urban vegetation mapping, are also areas where significant progress can be expected. Full article
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Article
The Use of C-Band and X-Band SAR with Machine Learning for Detecting Small-Scale Mining
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(4), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14040977 - 17 Feb 2022
Abstract
Illicit small-scale mining occurs in many tropical regions and is both environmentally and socially hazardous. The aim of this study was to determine whether the classification of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery could detect and map small-scale mining in Ghana by analyzing multi-temporal [...] Read more.
Illicit small-scale mining occurs in many tropical regions and is both environmentally and socially hazardous. The aim of this study was to determine whether the classification of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery could detect and map small-scale mining in Ghana by analyzing multi-temporal filtering applied to three SAR datasets and testing five machine-learning classifiers. Using an object-based image analysis approach, we were successful in classifying water bodies associated with small-scale mining. The multi-temporally filtered Sentinel-1 dataset was the most reliable, with kappa coefficients at 0.65 and 0.82 for the multi-class classification scheme and binary-water classification scheme, respectively. The single-date Sentinel-1 dataset has the highest overall accuracy, at 90.93% for the binary water classification scheme. The KompSAT-5 dataset achieved the lowest accuracy at an overall accuracy of 80.61% and a kappa coefficient of 0.61 for a binary-water classification scheme. The experimental results demonstrated that it is possible to classify water as a proxy to identify illegal mining activities and that SAR is a potentially accurate and reliable solution for the detection of SSM in tropical regions such as Ghana. Therefore, using SAR can assist local governments in regulating small-scale mining activities by providing specific spatial information on the whereabouts of small-scale mining locations. Full article
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Article
Learning Pairwise Potential CRFs in Deep Siamese Network for Change Detection
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(4), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14040841 - 10 Feb 2022
Abstract
Very high resolution (VHR) images change detection plays an important role in many remote sensing applications, such as military reconnaissance, urban planning and natural resource monitoring. Recently, fully connected conditional random field (FCCRF)-facilitated deep convolutional neural networks have shown promising results in change [...] Read more.
Very high resolution (VHR) images change detection plays an important role in many remote sensing applications, such as military reconnaissance, urban planning and natural resource monitoring. Recently, fully connected conditional random field (FCCRF)-facilitated deep convolutional neural networks have shown promising results in change detection. However, the FCCRF in change detection currently is still postprocessing based on the output of the front-end network, which is not a convenient end-to-end network model and cannot combine front-end network knowledge with the knowledge of pairwise potential. Therefore, we propose a new end-to-end deep Siamese pairwise potential CRFs network (PPNet) for VHR images change detection. Specifically, this method adds a conditional random field recurrent neural network (CRF-RNN) unit into the convolutional neural network and integrates the knowledge of unary potential and pairwise potential in the end-to-end training process, aiming to refine the edges of changed areas and to remove the distant noise. In order to correct the front-end network identification errors, the method uses effective channel attention (ECA) to further effectively distinguish the change areas. Our experimental results on two data sets verify that the proposed method has more advanced capability with almost no increase in the number of parameters and effectively avoids the overfitting phenomenon in the training process. Full article
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Article
Non-Cooperative SAR Automatic Target Recognition Based on Scattering Centers Models
Sensors 2022, 22(3), 1293; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22031293 - 08 Feb 2022
Abstract
This article proposes an Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) algorithm to classify non-cooperative targets in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The scarcity or nonexistence of measured SAR data demands that classification algorithms rely only on synthetic data for training purposes. Based on a model [...] Read more.
This article proposes an Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) algorithm to classify non-cooperative targets in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The scarcity or nonexistence of measured SAR data demands that classification algorithms rely only on synthetic data for training purposes. Based on a model represented by the set of scattering centers extracted from purely synthetic data, the proposed algorithm generates hypotheses for the set of scattering centers extracted from the target under test belonging to each class. A Goodness of Fit test is considered to verify each hypothesis, where the Likelihood Ratio Test is modified by a scattering center-weighting function common to both the model and target. Some algorithm variations are assessed for scattering center extraction and hypothesis generation and verification. The proposed solution is the first model-based classification algorithm to address the recently released Synthetic and Measured Paired Labeled Experiment (SAMPLE) dataset on a 100% synthetic training data basis. As a result, an accuracy of 91.30% in a 10-target test within a class experiment under Standard Operating Conditions (SOCs) was obtained. The algorithm was also pioneered in testing the SAMPLE dataset in Extend Operating Conditions (EOCs), assuming noise contamination and different target configurations. The proposed algorithm was shown to be robust for SNRs greater than 5 dB. Full article
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