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NL-SAR: a unified Non-Local framework for resolution-preserving (Pol)(In)SAR denoising

Abstract : Speckle noise is an inherent problem in coherent imaging systems like synthetic aperture radar. It creates strong intensity fluctuations and hampers the analysis of images and the estimation of local radiometric, polarimetric or interferometric properties. SAR processing chains thus often include a multi-looking (i.e., averaging) filter for speckle reduction, at the expense of a strong resolution loss. Preservation of point-like and fine structures and textures requires to adapt locally the estimation. Non-local means successfully adapt smoothing by deriving data-driven weights from the similarity between small image patches. The generalization of non-local approaches offers a flexible framework for resolution-preserving speckle reduction. We describe a general method, NL-SAR, that builds extended non-local neighborhoods for denoising amplitude, polarimetric and/or interferometric SAR images. These neighborhoods are defined on the basis of pixel similarity as evaluated by multi-channel comparison of patches. Several non-local estimations are performed and the best one is locally selected to form a single restored image with good preservation of radar structures and discontinuities. The proposed method is fully automatic and handles single and multi-look images, with or without interferometric or polarimetric channels. Efficient speckle reduction with very good resolution preservation is demonstrated both on numerical experiments using simulated data, airborne and spaceborne radar images. The source code of a parallel implementation of NL-SAR is released with the paper.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 12:56:37 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 9:21:20 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, November 24, 2014 - 5:32:11 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-00844118, version 3


Charles-Alban Deledalle, Loïc Denis, Florence Tupin, Andreas Reigber, Marc Jäger. NL-SAR: a unified Non-Local framework for resolution-preserving (Pol)(In)SAR denoising. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2015, 53 (4), pp.2021 - 2038. ⟨hal-00844118v3⟩



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