Despeckling PolSAR Images with a Structure Tensor Filter

© 2004-2012 IEEE. In this letter, we propose a new despeckling filter for fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) images defined by 3× 3 complex Wishart distributions. We first generalize the well-known structure tensor to deal with PolSAR data which allows to efficiently measure the dominant direction and contrast of edges. The generalization includes stochastic distances defined in the space of the Wishart matrices. Then, we embed the formulation into an anisotropic diffusion-like schema to build a filter able to reduce speckle and preserve edges. We evaluate its performance through an innovative experimental setup that also includes Monte Carlo analysis. We compare the results with a state-of-the-art polarimetric filter.