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Speckle filtering in satellite SAR change detection imagery

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Author: Dekker, R.J.
Type:article
Date:1998
Institution: TNO Fysisch en Elektronisch Laboratorium
Source:International Journal of Remote Sensing, 6, 19, 1133-1146
Identifier: 95062
Keywords: Radar · Digital filters · Optimization · Radar imaging · Remote sensing · Satellites · Signal detection · Spurious signal noise · Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) · Change detection imagery · Logarithmic scaling · Speckle filtering · Signal filtering and prediction

Abstract

Repeat-pass Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery is useful for change detection. A disadvantage of SAR is the system-inherent speckle noise. This can be reduced by filtering. Various filter types and methods are described in the literature, but not one fits the speckle noise in change detection imagery. A new method is therefore developed in this paper. The new method is based on filtering the logarithmic-scaled ratio of SAR images. Logarithmic scaling changes the multiplicative speckle noise in the ratio-image into additive noise and alters the distribution, which simplifies and optimizes the subsequent filter process. The filter in the new method consists of an additive LLMMSE filter (Kuan et al. 1985), preceded by a structure detection stage for a better contour preserving performance. Testing the new method on a repeat-pass satellite SAR image-set gave an accurate overview of changes compared to a colour-composite of both images, other optical remote sensing images and maps of the same area.