The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B3-2021
29 Jun 2021
 | 29 Jun 2021


I. Yalcin, S. Kocaman, S. Saunier, and C. Albinet

Keywords: Satellite Optical Imagery, MAXAR HD, Very High Resolution, Radiometric Quality, Validation, Super Resolution

Abstract. The requirement for very high-resolution satellite imagery by different applications has been increasing continuously. Several commercial and government-supported missions provide sub-meter spatial resolutions from optical sensors aboard Earth Observation (EO) satellites. The MAXAR satellite constellation acquires images with up to 30 cm Ground Sampling Distances (GSDs); and the High-Definition (HD) image production technology developed by MAXAR doubles the resolution by using artificial intelligence methods. Although the spatial resolution is one of the most important image quality metrics, several other factors indicated by diverse radiometric and geometric characteristics may circumscribe the usability of data in different projects. As part of mandatory activities of European Space Agency (ESA), Earthnet Programme provides a framework for integrating Third-Party Missions into the overall EO strategy and promotes the international use of the data. The Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP) project aims at assessing the quality and the suitability of TPMs, and provides a communication platform between mission providers to ensure the coherence of the systems. In this study, the radiometric quality of the MAXAR HD products was evaluated within the EDAP project framework by using several General Image-Quality Equation (GIQE) metrics, visual inspections, and comparative assessments with orthophotos obtained from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform and with the original (non-HD) orthophotos with 30 cm resolutions. The results show that the spatial resolution improvements are observable in urban areas, where sharp edges are present. However, blurring and color noise patterns also occured in the HD images.