Non-Local SAR Tomography for Large-Scale Urban Mapping

Yilei Shi, Yuanyuan Wang, Xiao Xiang Zhu, Richard Bamler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Multi-baseline synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometric techniques, such as SAR tomography, is well established for 3-D reconstruction in the urban area. These methods usually require fairly large interferometric stacks (> 20 images) for a reliable reconstruction. Hence, they are usually not directly applicable for large-scale 3-D urban mapping using TanDEM-X data where only a few acquisitions are available in average for each city. This work proposes a new SAR tomographic processing framework to those extremely small stacks. The applicability of the algorithm is demonstrated using a TanDEM-X multi-baseline stack with five bistatic interferograms over the whole city of Munich, Germany. Systematic comparison of our result with TanDEM-X raw digital elevation models (DEM) and airborne LiDAR data shows that the relative height accuracy is two meters, which outperforms the TanDEM-X raw DEM. The promising performance of the proposed algorithm paved the first step towards high quality large-scale 3-D urban mapping.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2019 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538691540
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event39th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2019 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 28 Jul 20192 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)


Conference39th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2019


  • Non-Local filtering
  • Robust estimator
  • TomoSAR


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