Quality assessment of TanDEM-X DEMs using airborne LiDAR, photogrammetry and ICESat elevation data
Keywords: TanDEM-X, DEM, Accuracy, InSAR, LiDAR, ICESat, photogrammetry
Abstract. TanDEM-X mission has been acquiring InSAR data to produce high resolution global DEM with greater vertical accuracy since 2010. In this study, TanDEM-X CoSSC data were processed to produce DEMs at 6 m spatial resolution for two test areas of India. The generated DEMs were compared with DEMs available from airborne LiDAR, photogrammetry, SRTM and ICESat elevation point data. The first test site is in Bihar state of India with almost flat terrain and sparse vegetation cover and the second test site is around Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh (A.P.) state of India with flat to moderate hilly terrain. The quality of the DEMs in these two test sites has been specified in terms of most widely used accuracy measures viz. mean, standard deviation, skew and RMSE. The TanDEM-X DEM over Bihar test area gives 5.0 m RMSE by taking airborne LiDAR data as reference. With ICESat elevation data available at 9000 point locations, RMSE of 5.9 m is obtained. Similarly, TanDEM-X DEM for Godavari area was compared with high resolution aerial photogrammetric DEM and SRTM DEM and found RMSE of 5.3 m and 7.5 m respectively. When compared with ICESat elevation data at several point location and also the same point locations of photogrammetric DEM and SRTM, the RMS errors are 4.1 m, 3.5 m and 4.3 m respectively. DEMs were also compared for open-pit coal mining area where elevation changes from -147 m to 189 m. X- and Y-profiles of all DEMs were also compared to see their trend and differences.