Comparison of small baseline interferometric SAR processors for estimating ground deformation

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The small Baseline Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry (SBI) technique has been widely and successfully applied in various ground deformation monitoring applications. Over the last decade, a variety of SBI algorithms have been developed based on the same fundamental concepts. Recently developed SBI toolboxes provide an open environment for researchers to apply different SBI methods for various purposes. However, there has been no thorough discussion that compares the particular characteristics of different SBI methods and their corresponding performance in ground deformation reconstruction. Thus, two SBI toolboxes that implement a total of four SBI algorithms were selected for comparison. This study discusses and summarizes the main differences, pros and cons of these four SBI implementations, which could help users to choose a suitable SBI method for their specific application. The study focuses on exploring the suitability of each SBI module under various data set conditions, including small/large number of interferograms, the presence or absence of larger time gaps, urban/vegetation ground coverage, and temporally regular/irregular ground displacement with multiple spatial scales. Within this paper we discuss the corresponding theoretical background of each SBI method. We present a performance analysis of these SBI modules based on two real data sets characterized by different environmental and surface deformation conditions. The study shows that all four SBI processors are capable of generating similar ground deformation results when the data set has sufficient temporal sampling and a stable ground backscatter mechanism like urban area. Strengths and limitations of different SBI processors were analyzed based on data set configuration and environmental conditions and are summarized in this paper to guide future users of SBI techniques.




Gong, W., Thiele, A., Hinz, S., Meyer, F. J., Hooper, A., & Agram, P. S. (2016). Comparison of small baseline interferometric SAR processors for estimating ground deformation. Remote Sensing, 8(4).

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