Unsupervised segmentation of polarimetric SAR data using the covariance matrix

E. Rignot, R. Chellappa, P. Dubois
1992 IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  
This paper presents a method for unsupervised segmentation of polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data into classes of homogeneous microwave polarimetric backscatter characteristics. Classes of polarimetric backscatter are selected based on a multidimensional fuzzy clustering of the logarithm of the parameters composing the polarimetric covariance matrix. The clustering procedure uses both polarimetric amplitude and phase information, is adapted to the presence of image speckle, and
more » ... ge speckle, and does not require an arbitrary weighting of the different polarimetric channels; it also provides a partitioning of each data sample used for clustering into multiple clusters. Given the classes of polarimetric backscatter, the entire image is classified using a Maximum A Posteriori polarimetric classifier. Fourlook polarimetric SAR complex data of lava flows and of sea ice acquired by the NASNJPL airborne polarimetric radar (AIRSAR) are segmented using this technique. The results are discussed and compared with those obtained using supervised techniques.
doi:10.1109/36.158863 fatcat:xkjxmvgqnfcvlfij5si6e5crau