The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-7
19 Sep 2014
 | 19 Sep 2014

Centimeter range measurement using amplitude data of TerraSAR-X imagery

P. Capaldo, F. Fratarcangeli, A. Nascetti, A. Mazzoni, M. Porfiri, and M. Crespi

Keywords: SAR, amplitude, TerraSAR-X, atmospheric and geophysical corrections, land and infrastructures monitoring

Abstract. The SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imagery are largely used for the environmental, structures and infrastructures monitoring. In particular, Differential SAR Interferometry (DInSAR) is a well known technique that allows producing spatially dense displacement maps with centimetre to millimetre accuracy. The SAR signal is characterized by phase and amplitude value and the DInSAR remote sensing technique allows to analyse deformation phenomena affecting both extended natural areas and localized man-made structures, by exploiting the phase difference of SAR image pairs. New SAR satellite sensors such as COSMO-SkyMed, TerraSAR-X and PAZ offer the capability to achieve positioning in a global reference frame accuracies in the meter range and even better, thanks to the higher image resolution (up to 0.20 m pixel resolution in the Staring SpotLight mode for TerraSAR-X and PAZ) and to the use of on board dual frequency GPS receivers, which allows to determine the satellite orbit with an accuracy at few centimetres level. The goal of this work is to exploit the slant-range measurements reaching centimetre accuracies using only the amplitude information of SAR images acquired by TerraSAR-X satellite sensor. The leading idea is to evaluate the positioning accuracy of well identifiable and stable natural and man-made Persistent Scatterers (PS’s) along the SAR line of sight. The preliminary results, obtained on the Berlin area (Germany), shown that it is possible achieve a slant-range positioning accuracy with a bias well below 10 cm and a standard deviation of about 3 cm; the results are encouraging for applications of high resolution SAR imagery amplitude data in land and infrastructures monitoring.