Novel Techniques for Built-Up Area Extraction from Polarimetric SAR Images

© 2004-2012 IEEE. Built-up (BU) area extraction from remote sensing images is important to monitor and manage urbanization and industrialization. In this letter, we propose two BU area extraction techniques based on the analysis of fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) data. Both methods exploit the geodesic distance on the unit sphere in the space of Kennaugh matrices. The first method is based on the three dominant scattering types in the scene and compares them with scattering models; if any of them matches with BU type elementary scattering models, then the pixel is said to belong to a BU area. The second method is based on a novel PolSAR BU index (RBUI) composed by considering scattering mechanisms from BU structures. The two proposed techniques are validated on two different urban scenes, one acquired at C-band by RADARSAT-2 and other at L-band by ALOS-2 SAR sensors.