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Applicability of the SIFT operator to geometric SAR image registration

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The SIFT operator's success for computer vision applications makes it an attractive alternative to the intricate feature based SAR image registration problem. The SIFT operator processing chain is capable of detecting and matching scale and affine invariant features. For SAR images, the operator is expected to detect stable features at lower scales where speckle influence diminishes. To adapt the operator performance to SAR images we analyse the impact of image filtering and of skipping features detected at the highest scales. We present our analysis based on multisensor, multitemporal and different viewpoint SAR images. The operator shows potential to become a robust alternative for point feature based registration of SAR images as subpixel registration consistency was achieved for most of the tested datasets. Our findings indicate that operator performance in terms of repeatability and matching capability is affected by an increase in acquisition differences within the imagery. We also show that the proposed adaptations result in a significant speed-up compared to the original SIFT operator.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: German Aerospace Center (DLR), Remote Sensing Technology Institute, Wessling, Germany,Department of Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences, Landshut, Germany 2: German Aerospace Center (DLR), Remote Sensing Technology Institute, Wessling, Germany 3: Department of Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences, Landshut, Germany

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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