The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B1
03 Jun 2016
 | 03 Jun 2016


S. Gehrke and B. T. Beshah

Keywords: Multi-Sensor, Aerial Images, Sensor, Radiometry, Radiometric Adjustment, Mosaic

Abstract. Generating seamless mosaics of aerial images is a particularly challenging task when the mosaic comprises a large number of im-ages, collected over longer periods of time and with different sensors under varying imaging conditions. Such large mosaics typically consist of very heterogeneous image data, both spatially (different terrain types and atmosphere) and temporally (unstable atmo-spheric properties and even changes in land coverage).

We present a new radiometric normalization or, respectively, radiometric aerial triangulation approach that takes advantage of our knowledge about each sensor’s properties. The current implementation supports medium and large format airborne imaging sensors of the Leica Geosystems family, namely the ADS line-scanner as well as DMC and RCD frame sensors. A hierarchical modelling – with parameters for the overall mosaic, the sensor type, different flight sessions, strips and individual images – allows for adaptation to each sensor’s geometric and radiometric properties. Additional parameters at different hierarchy levels can compensate radiome-tric differences of various origins to compensate for shortcomings of the preceding radiometric sensor calibration as well as BRDF and atmospheric corrections. The final, relative normalization is based on radiometric tie points in overlapping images, absolute radiometric control points and image statistics. It is computed in a global least squares adjustment for the entire mosaic by altering each image’s histogram using a location-dependent mathematical model. This model involves contrast and brightness corrections at radiometric fix points with bilinear interpolation for corrections in-between. The distribution of the radiometry fixes is adaptive to each image and generally increases with image size, hence enabling optimal local adaptation even for very long image strips as typi-cally captured by a line-scanner sensor.

The normalization approach is implemented in HxMap software. It has been successfully applied to large sets of heterogeneous imagery, including the adjustment of original sensor images prior to quality control and further processing as well as radiometric adjustment for ortho-image mosaic generation.