RECONSTRUCTION OF BUILDING FOOTPRINTS USING SPACEBORNE TOMOSAR POINT CLOUDS
Keywords: TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X, tomographic SAR (TomoSAR) inversion, 3-D point cloud, building footprint, clustering
Abstract. This paper presents an approach that automatically (but parametrically) reconstructs 2-D/3-D building footprints using 3-D synthetic aperture radar (SAR) tomography (TomoSAR) point clouds. These point clouds are generated by processing SAR image stacks via SAR tomographic inversion. The proposed approach reconstructs the building outline by exploiting both the roof and façade points. Initial building footprints are derived by applying the alpha shapes method on pre-segmented point clusters of individual buildings. A recursive angular deviation based refinement is then carried out to obtain refined/smoothed 2-D polygonal boundaries. A robust fusion framework then fuses the information pertaining to building façades to the smoothed polygons. Afterwards, a rectilinear building identification procedure is adopted and constraints are added to yield geometrically correct and visually aesthetic building shapes. The proposed approach is illustrated and validated using TomoSAR point clouds generated from a stack of TerraSAR-X high-resolution spotlight images from ascending orbit covering approximately 1.5 km2 area in the city of Berlin, Germany.