SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR (SAR) BASED CLASSIFIERS FOR LAND APPLICATIONS IN GERMANY
Keywords: LBM-DE, Land cover, polarimetry, SAR, Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2
Abstract. Land cover information is essential for urban planning and for land cover change monitoring. This paper presents an overview of the work conducted at the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) with respect to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) based land cover classification. Two land cover classification approaches using SAR images are reported in this paper. The first method involves a rule-based classification using only SAR backscatter intensity while the other method involves supervised classification of a polarimetric composite of the same SAR image. The LBM-DE has been used for training and validation of the SAR classification results. Images acquired from the Sentinel-1a satellite are used for classification and the results have been reported and discussed. The availability of Sentinel-1a images that are weather and daylight independent allows for the creation of a land cover classification system that can be updated and validated periodically, and hence, be used to assist other land cover classification systems that use optical data. With the availability of Sentinel-2 data, land cover classification combining Sentinel-1a and Sentinel-2 images present a path for the future.