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Simple correction of multiple reflection effects in rugged terrain

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Operational correction of optical satellite sensor imagery usually models radiation reflected from surrounding terrain with a first-order reflection function. In rugged areas and snowy environments, the trapping of radiation between adjacent slopes can make such an approximation inadequate, leading to underestimation of the amount of irradiance, and overestimation of the ground reflectance. It is shown that a multiple reflection model, based on mean parameters computed from the terrain neighbourhood, converges to a simple correction factor. Comparison between first-order and multiple reflection models shows that the reflectance of snow targets, in very rugged terrain, may be overestimated by up to 30% if disregarding multiple reflections. This potentially explains saturated values obtained from topographic correction algorithms which only use a first-order terrain function, e.g. ATCOR3, and demonstrates that correction for multiple reflections should be implemented in specific environments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: GLIMS, New Zealand Office, School of Surveying, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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