Radiometric processing of multitemporal sequences of satellite imagery for surface reflectance retrievals in change detection studies
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A relative, lie-value image normalisation (LVIN) procedure was investigated as a means of estimating surface reflectances from sequences of Landsat TM and ETM+ imagery, and standardising image data for change detection studies when there are uncertainties in sensor calibration and atmospheric parameters over time. The basis of the LVIX procedure is that for an A-date sequence, the digital numbers (DNs) of N-1 overpass images can be mapped to the reflectance values of a reference image for a set of pseudo- invariant targets (PITs) common to all images in the sequence. The robust M-estimator was employed to provide the transformation function that achieved the mapping. The investigation also showed that in some instances the LVIN procedure could incorporate the modelled Path DN-the modelled DN for a target of zero surface reflectance. A lack of surface validation data was a limitation in the investigation. However, a qualitative evaluation of the LVIN procedure was possible by examining the pre- and post-normalisation image histograms. In a comparison with the results of the 6S radiative transfer code, it war observed that when both overpass and reference images were acquired with the same sensor, the LVIK procedure appeared t o correct for atmospheric effects; and when overpass and reference images were with different sensors, the LVIN procedure also corrected for between-sensor differences. Moreover, it was demonstrated for the more "temporally-invariant" PITs that the procedure retrieved surface reflectances that were on average within ±0.02 reflectance units.The ability of the LVIK procedure to standardise sequences of image data was further demonstrated in the study of vegetation change. The normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) was calculated from LVIN estimates of surface reflectance for a selection of sites around the township of Mt. Barker, Western Australia. NDVI data had characteristics consistent with data that have been corrected for atmospheric effects. A modification to the LVIN procedure was also proposed based on an investigation of some empirically-derived vegetation reflectance relationships. Research into the robustness of the relationships for a greater range of vegetation types is recommended.
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