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Extraction of ground control points (GCPs) from synthetic aperture radar images and SRTM DEM

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Qualified ground control points (GCPs) are crucial in the geolocation of a remotely sensed image. If a region has no published map, the geographical coordinates of GCPs must be obtained indirectly. Although these can be re‐constructed from a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image using sensor position and velocity, this conventional method does not provide accurate GCPs owing to the variable elevations of actual topography. We propose an inverse geolocation method for GCPs by SAR simulation. This improves the accuracy of extracted GCPs by accommodating topographic effects, and requires a high‐resolution digital elevation model (DEM) and SAR with precise orbit data. The errors in the northing derive mainly from the imaging pulse time, and were improved by applying an azimuth time correction. In this study ERS SAR data with precise Delft orbit and shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM) DEM were used. Mean values for the planimetric distance error in the GCPs were 4.1 and 5.4 m with standard deviations of 10.6 and 16.9 m in northing and easting, respectively. The obtained GCPs were applied to an IRS image for geo‐rectification, and the result was mean image positional errors of 3.6 and 2.7 m with standard deviations of 8.4 and 15.4 m in northing and easting, respectively. The root mean square errors are 9.0 and 15.3 m in northing and easting, respectively.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Earth System Sciences, Yonsei University, 134 Shinchon‐dong, Seodaemun‐gu, Seoul 120‐749, Korea

Publication date: September 20, 2006

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