The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-3/W2
10 Mar 2015
 | 10 Mar 2015


W. Kornus, A. Magariños, M. Pla, E. Soler, and F. Perez

Keywords: ZY-3, Satellite Photogrammetry, DEM/DTM, Orthoimage, Stereo-Plotting, Accuracy

Abstract. This paper evaluates the stereoscopic capacities of the Chinese sensor ZiYuan-3 (ZY-3) for the generation of photogrammetric products. The satellite was launched on January 9, 2012 and carries three high-resolution panchromatic cameras viewing in forward (22º), nadir (0º) and backward direction (-22º) and an infrared multi-spectral scanner (IRMSS), which is slightly looking forward (6º). The ground sampling distance (GSD) is 2.1m for the nadir image, 3.5m for the two oblique stereo images and 5.8m for the multispectral image. The evaluated ZY-3 imagery consists of a full set of threefold-stereo and a multi-spectral image covering an area of ca. 50km x 50km north-west of Barcelona, Spain. The complete photogrammetric processing chain was executed including image orientation, the generation of a digital surface model (DSM), radiometric image correction, pansharpening, orthoimage generation and digital stereo plotting.

All 4 images are oriented by estimating affine transformation parameters between observed and nominal RPC (rational polynomial coefficients) image positions of 17 ground control points (GCP) and a subsequent calculation of refined RPC. From 10 independent check points RMS errors of 2.2m, 2.0m and 2.7m in X, Y and H are obtained. Subsequently, a DSM of 5m grid spacing is generated fully automatically. A comparison with the Lidar data results in an overall DSM accuracy of approximately 3m. In moderate and flat terrain higher accuracies in the order of 2.5m and better are achieved. In a next step orthoimages from the high resolution nadir image and the multispectral image are generated using the refined RPC geometry and the DSM. After radiometric corrections a fused high resolution colour orthoimage with 2.1m pixel size is created using an adaptive HSL method. The pansharpen process is performed after the individual geocorrection due to the different viewing angles between the two images. In a detailed analysis of the colour orthoimage artifacts are detected covering an area of 4691ha, corresponding to less than 2% of the imaged area. Most of the artifacts are caused by clouds (4614ha). A minor part (77ha) is affected by colour patch, stripping or blooming effects.

For the final qualitative analysis on the usability of the ZY-3 imagery for stereo plotting purposes stereo combinations of the nadir and an oblique image are discarded, mainly due to the different pixel size, which produces difficulties in the stereoscopic vision and poor accuracy in positioning and measuring. With the two oblique images a level of detail equivalent to 1:25.000 scale is achieved for transport network, hydrography, vegetation and elements to model the terrain as break lines. For settlement, including buildings and other constructions a lower level of detail is achieved equivalent to 1:50.000 scale.