URBAN MODELLING PERFORMANCE OF NEXT GENERATION SAR MISSIONS
Keywords: Cosmo-SkyMed, TerraSAR-X, High Resolution Spotlight, Interferometry, Airborne Laser Scanning
Abstract. In synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology, urban mapping and modelling have become possible with revolutionary missions TerraSAR-X (TSX) and Cosmo-SkyMed (CSK) since 2007. These satellites offer 1m spatial resolution in high-resolution spotlight imaging mode and capable for high quality digital surface model (DSM) acquisition for urban areas utilizing interferometric SAR (InSAR) technology. With the advantage of independent generation from seasonal weather conditions, TSX and CSK DSMs are much in demand by scientific users. The performance of SAR DSMs is influenced by the distortions such as layover, foreshortening, shadow and double-bounce depend up on imaging geometry. In this study, the potential of DSMs derived from convenient 1m high-resolution spotlight (HS) InSAR pairs of CSK and TSX is validated by model-to-model absolute and relative accuracy estimations in an urban area. For the verification, an airborne laser scanning (ALS) DSM of the study area was used as the reference model. Results demonstrated that TSX and CSK urban DSMs are compatible in open, built-up and forest land forms with the absolute accuracy of 8–10 m. The relative accuracies based on the coherence of neighbouring pixels are superior to absolute accuracies both for CSK and TSX.