The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B8
24 Jun 2016
 | 24 Jun 2016


Devrim Akca, Efstratios Stylianidis, Konstantinos Smagas, Martin Hofer, Daniela Poli, Armin Gruen, Victor Sanchez Martin, Orhan Altan, Andreas Walli, Elisa Jimeno, and Alejandro Garcia

Keywords: Forest, VHR satellite imagery, orientation, image matching, DSM generation, 3D change detection

Abstract. Quick and economical ways of detecting of planimetric and volumetric changes of forest areas are in high demand. A research platform, called FORSAT (A satellite processing platform for high resolution forest assessment), was developed for the extraction of 3D geometric information from VHR (very-high resolution) imagery from satellite optical sensors and automatic change detection. This 3D forest information solution was developed during a Eurostars project. FORSAT includes two main units. The first one is dedicated to the geometric and radiometric processing of satellite optical imagery and 2D/3D information extraction. This includes: image radiometric pre-processing, image and ground point measurement, improvement of geometric sensor orientation, quasiepipolar image generation for stereo measurements, digital surface model (DSM) extraction by using a precise and robust image matching approach specially designed for VHR satellite imagery, generation of orthoimages, and 3D measurements in single images using mono-plotting and in stereo images as well as triplets. FORSAT supports most of the VHR optically imagery commonly used for civil applications: IKONOS, OrbView – 3, SPOT – 5 HRS, SPOT – 5 HRG, QuickBird, GeoEye-1, WorldView-1/2, Pléiades 1A/1B, SPOT 6/7, and sensors of similar type to be expected in the future. The second unit of FORSAT is dedicated to 3D surface comparison for change detection. It allows users to import digital elevation models (DEMs), align them using an advanced 3D surface matching approach and calculate the 3D differences and volume changes between epochs. To this end our 3D surface matching method LS3D is being used. FORSAT is a single source and flexible forest information solution with a very competitive price/quality ratio, allowing expert and non-expert remote sensing users to monitor forests in three and four dimensions from VHR optical imagery for many forest information needs. The capacity and benefits of FORSAT have been tested in six case studies located in Austria, Cyprus, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, using optical data from different sensors and with the purpose to monitor forest with different geometric characteristics. The validation run on Cyprus dataset is reported and commented.