Orthorectification accuracy comparison applied on Pléiades imagery using GPS collected GCPs and TerraSAR-X-based GCPs

Ivan Henrico, Ludwig Combrinck, Corné Eloff


Conducting single frame orthorectification on satellite images to create an ortho-image requires four basic components, namely an image, a geometric sensor model, elevation data (for example a digital elevation model (DEM)) and ground control points (GCPs). For this study, orthorectification entailed the use of a single scene Pléiades primary panchromatic image, applying the Pléiades rigorous geometric model, utilising a high-quality 2 m DEM and using GCPs that were acquired from two different collection methods. The application of these different GCPs to the execution of orthorectification encompassed the aim of this paper, which was to investigate and compare the positional accuracies of ortho-images under two scenarios. Firstly, GCPs were manually collected through fieldwork utilising a Trimble GeoExplorer 6000 series handheld GPS device and secondly, by utilising TerraSAR-X based GCPs that were acquired from Airbus Defence and Space. The objective of this study was to determine the geolocation accuracy of a high-resolution satellite ortho-image when different types of ground control are used. This required the execution of two orthorectification tests where only the type of GCPs differed. The results of these tests were interesting since it highlighted the difference in positional accuracy when utilising various sources of ground control to perform orthorectification on satellite imagery. The comparison results showed that utilising the manual GCPs produced a better positional accurate ortho-image as opposed to using the TerraSAR-X based GCPs. Nonetheless, the TerraSAR-X based GCPs still produced a sub 2 m accurate ortho-image, which is more than sufficient for the production of most geospatial products.

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