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


K. Jacobsen

Keywords: DSM/DTM, systematic error, optical space images, orientation, satellite jitter

Abstract. The geometry of digital height models (DHM) determined with optical satellite stereo combinations depends upon the image orientation, influenced by the satellite camera, the system calibration and attitude registration. As standard these days the image orientation is available in form of rational polynomial coefficients (RPC). Usually a bias correction of the RPC based on ground control points is required. In most cases the bias correction requires affine transformation, sometimes only shifts, in image or object space. For some satellites and some cases, as caused by small base length, such an image orientation does not lead to the possible accuracy of height models. As reported e.g. by Yong-hua et al. 2015 and Zhang et al. 2015, especially the Chinese stereo satellite ZiYuan-3 (ZY-3) has a limited calibration accuracy and just an attitude recording of 4 Hz which may not be satisfying. Zhang et al. 2015 tried to improve the attitude based on the color sensor bands of ZY-3, but the color images are not always available as also detailed satellite orientation information. There is a tendency of systematic deformation at a Pléiades tri-stereo combination with small base length. The small base length enlarges small systematic errors to object space. But also in some other satellite stereo combinations systematic height model errors have been detected. The largest influence is the not satisfying leveling of height models, but also low frequency height deformations can be seen.

A tilt of the DHM by theory can be eliminated by ground control points (GCP), but often the GCP accuracy and distribution is not optimal, not allowing a correct leveling of the height model. In addition a model deformation at GCP locations may lead to not optimal DHM leveling. Supported by reference height models better accuracy has been reached. As reference height model the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital surface model (DSM) or the new AW3D30 DSM, based on ALOS PRISM images, are satisfying. They allow the leveling and correction of low frequency height errors and lead to satisfying correction of the DSM based on optical satellite images.

The potential of DHM generation, influence of systematic model deformation and possibilities of improvement has been investigated.