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High-resolution satellite image fusion using regression kriging

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Image fusion is an important component of digital image processing and quantitative image analysis. Image fusion is the technique of integrating and merging information from different remote sensors to achieve refined or improved data. A number of fusion algorithms have been developed in the past two decades, and most of these methods are efficient for applications especially for same-sensor and single-date images. However, colour distortion is a common problem for multi-sensor or multi-date image fusion. In this study, a new image fusion method of regression kriging is presented. Regression kriging takes consideration of correlation between response variable (i.e., the image to be fused) and predictor variables (i.e., the image with finer spatial resolutions), spatial autocorrelation among pixels in the predictor images, and the unbiased estimation with minimized variance. Regression kriging is applied to fuse multi-temporal (e.g., Ikonos, QuickBird, and OrbView-3) images. The significant properties of image fusion using regression kriging are spectral preservation and relatively simple procedures. The qualitative assessments indicate that there is no apparent colour distortion in the fused images that coincides with the quantitative checks, which show that the fused images are highly correlated with the initial data and the per-pixel differences are too small to be considered as significant errors. Besides a basic comparison of image fusion between a wavelet based approach and regression kriging, general comparisons with other published fusion algorithms indicate that regression kriging is comparable with other sophisticated techniques for multi-sensor and multi-date image fusion.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA 2: Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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