AUTOMATIC MOSAICKING OF SATELLITE IMAGERY CONSIDERING THE CLOUDS
Keywords: Satellite Imagery, Cloud Detection, Dodging, Mosaicking
Abstract. With the rapid development of high resolution remote sensing for earth observation technology, satellite imagery is widely used in the fields of resource investigation, environment protection, and agricultural research. Image mosaicking is an important part of satellite imagery production. However, the existence of clouds leads to lots of disadvantages for automatic image mosaicking, mainly in two aspects: 1) Image blurring may be caused during the process of image dodging, 2) Cloudy areas may be passed through by automatically generated seamlines. To address these problems, an automatic mosaicking method is proposed for cloudy satellite imagery in this paper. Firstly, modified Otsu thresholding and morphological processing are employed to extract cloudy areas and obtain the percentage of cloud cover. Then, cloud detection results are used to optimize the process of dodging and mosaicking. Thus, the mosaic image can be combined with more clear-sky areas instead of cloudy areas. Besides, clear-sky areas will be clear and distortionless. The Chinese GF-1 wide-field-of-view orthoimages are employed as experimental data. The performance of the proposed approach is evaluated in four aspects: the effect of cloud detection, the sharpness of clear-sky areas, the rationality of seamlines and efficiency. The evaluation results demonstrated that the mosaic image obtained by our method has fewer clouds, better internal color consistency and better visual clarity compared with that obtained by traditional method. The time consumed by the proposed method for 17 scenes of GF-1 orthoimages is within 4 hours on a desktop computer. The efficiency can meet the general production requirements for massive satellite imagery.