Layered Estimation of Atmospheric Mesoscale Dynamics From Satellite Imagery
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
In this paper, we address the problem of estimating mesoscale dynamics of atmospheric layers from satellite image sequences. Due to the great deal of spatial and temporal distortions of cloud patterns and because of the sparse 3-D nature of cloud observations, standard dense-motion field-estimation techniques used in computer vision are not well adapted to satellite images. Relying on a physically sound vertical decomposition of the atmosphere into layers, we propose a dense-motion estimator
... icated to the extraction of multilayer horizontal wind fields. This estimator is expressed as the minimization of a global function including data and spatio-temporal smoothness terms. A robust data term relying on the integrated-continuity equation massconservation model is proposed to fit sparse-transmittance observations related to each layer. A novel spatio-temporal smoother derived from large eddy prediction of a shallow-water momentumconservation model is used to build constraints for large-scale temporal coherence. These constraints are combined in a global smoothing framework with a robust second-order smoother, preserving divergent and vorticity structures of the flow. For optimization, a two-stage motion estimation scheme is proposed to overcome multiresolution limitations when capturing the dynamics of mesoscale structures. This alternative approach relies on the combination of correlation and optical-flow observations in a variational context. An exhaustive evaluation of the novel method is first performed on a scalar image sequence generated by direct numerical simulation of a turbulent 2-D flow. By qualitative comparisons, the method is then assessed on a METEOSAT image sequence.