Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Evaluation and integration of new sensors and new technologies in the rapid estimating of crop acreage

Microwave imagery has been investigated as a replacement for the present optical data collection for the rapid estimating of crop acreage by remote sensing techniques. As the earth remote sensing satellite-synthetic aperture radar (ERS-SAR) imagery is significantly cheaper than the normally used systeme probatoire d'observation de la terre (SPOT) or thematic mapper (TM) data, a successful substitution of the optical by radar data, will improve the cost effectiveness of the rapid estimates project. The all weather capabilities of the SAR make image acquisition during autumn and winter time possible. The crop specific field cultivation practices and the resulting effects on the radar surface roughness, make it highly probable that these data can be used to perform an early estimation of the crop acreage. Work began with establishment of a Seville test site data base covering an area of 1600 square kilometres. The results of the 1992 ground survey based on 17 segments were georeferences and included in this database. After an initial evaluation of fast delivery (FD) data, work concentrated on the preprocessing for ERS-1 precision images (PRI) data. Software for image resampling was developed. A second research axis was oriented towards the definition of occurrence masks. Occurrence masks define areas, where certain types or associations of crops have a high likelihood of occurrence. First results indicated that the performance of standard classifiers can be significantly increased by the use of a priori occurrence masks. A third research area was the use of high (geometric) resolution Russian satellite imagery. KFA-1000 data with 5 m resolution began. The idea was to use these data for a high precision base segmentation in order to derive field boundaries. As field boundaries will not change dramatically from one season to the other, the field boundaries will be a valid reference system for further data analysis. The segmentation of the KFA-1000 however, did not show satisfying results due to image noise present in the data.

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Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
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