IMAGE ENHANCEMENT AND SPECKLE REDUCTION OF FULL POLARIMETRIC SAR DATA BY GAUSSIAN MARKOV RANDOM FIELD
Keywords: Speckle reduction, Polarimetric SAR, Markov random field, Contextual analysis, Pixel-wise analysis
Abstract. In recent years, the use of Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) data in different applications dramatically has been increased. In SAR imagery an interference phenomenon with random behavior exists which is called speckle noise. The interpretation of data encounters some troubles due to the presence of speckle which can be considered as a multiplicative noise affecting all coherent imaging systems. Indeed, speckle degrade radiometric resolution of PolSAR images, therefore it is needful to perform speckle filtering on the SAR data type. Markov Random Field (MRF) has proven to be a powerful method for drawing out eliciting contextual information from remotely sensed images. In the present paper, a probability density function (PDF), which is fitted well with the PolSAR data based on the goodness-of-fit test, is first obtained for the pixel-wise analysis. Then the contextual smoothing is achieved with the MRF method. This novel speckle reduction method combines an advanced statistical distribution with spatial contextual information for PolSAR data. These two parts of information are combined based on weighted summation of pixel-wise and contextual models. This approach not only preserves edge information in the images, but also improves signal-to-noise ratio of the results. The method maintains the mean value of original signal in the homogenous areas and preserves the edges of features in the heterogeneous regions. Experiments on real medium resolution ALOS data from Tehran, and also high resolution full polarimetric SAR data over the Oberpfaffenhofen test-site in Germany, demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithm compared with well-known despeckling methods.