2D Sub-Pixel Disparity Measurement Using QPEC / Medicis
Keywords: 2D Stereo Matching, Sub-pixel Disparity, Geometric Calibration, QPEC, Medicis
Abstract. In the frame of its earth observation missions, CNES created a library called QPEC, and one of its launcher called Medicis. QPEC / Medicis is a sub-pixel two-dimensional stereo matching algorithm that works on an image pair. This tool is a block matching algorithm, which means that it is based on a local method. Moreover it does not regularize the results found. It proposes several matching costs, such as the Zero mean Normalised Cross-Correlation or statistical measures (the Mutual Information being one of them), and different match validation flags. QPEC / Medicis is able to compute a two-dimensional dense disparity map with a subpixel precision. Hence, it is more versatile than disparity estimation methods found in computer vision literature, which often assume an epipolar geometry.
CNES uses Medicis, among other applications, during the in-orbit image quality commissioning of earth observation satellites. For instance the Pléiades-HR 1A & 1B and the Sentinel-2 geometric calibrations are based on this block matching algorithm. Over the years, it has become a common tool in ground segments for in-flight monitoring purposes. For these two kinds of applications, the two-dimensional search and the local sub-pixel measure without regularization can be essential. This tool is also used to generate automatic digital elevation models, for which it was not initially dedicated.
This paper deals with the QPEC / Medicis algorithm. It also presents some of its CNES applications (in-orbit commissioning, in flight monitoring or digital elevation model generation). Medicis software is distributed outside the CNES as well. This paper finally describes some of these external applications using Medicis, such as ground displacement measurement, or intra-oral scanner in the dental domain.