De-noised and contrast enhanced KH-9 HEXAGON mapping and panoramic camera images for urban research

Shahtahmassebi, Amir Reza and Liu, Minshi and Li, Longwei and Wu, JieXia and Zhao, Mingwei and Chen, Xi and Jiang, Ling and Huang, Danni and Hu, Feng and Huang, Minmin and Deng, Kai and Huang, Xiaoli and Shahtahmassebi, Golnaz and Biswas, Asim and Moore, Nathan and Atkinson, Peter M. (2023) De-noised and contrast enhanced KH-9 HEXAGON mapping and panoramic camera images for urban research. Science of Remote Sensing, 7. ISSN 2666-0172

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In 2002 and 2020–2022, KH-9 HEXAGON mapping camera system (MCS) and panoramic camera system (PCS) images were made available to the public, respectively. Although great efforts have been made by the scientific community to develop applications that utilize KH-9 HEXAGON images, little attention has been paid to de-noising and contrast enhancement of these images particularly over urban landscapes. This paper focuses on developing a de-noising and contrast enhancement pipeline for KH-9 HEXAGON MCS and PCS over urban regions. The proposed approach employs first a wavelet transform trained using a suite of ‘degree of over-smoothing’ metrics (DOSM) for image de-noising. These metrics are sensitive to structure, texture, edges and local homogeneity of image objects. Then the de-noised image is subjected to the multi-resolution Top-hat to optimize the contrast. This method incorporates a range of shapes and neighborhoods at multiple scales. The method was applied to a KH-9 HEXAGON MCS image (acquired in 1975) and PCS image (acquired in 1974) representing a complex urban landscape, to support comprehensive evaluation under a range of settings. Performance was assessed against three state-of-the-art benchmark approaches: residual learning (deep learning), blind deconvolution and spatial filtering. To evaluate the performance of the proposed pipeline against the benchmarks, we employed the saturation image edge difference standard-deviation, co-occurrence metrics and the semivariogram. Additionally, the potential applications of pre-processed results were demonstrated using change detection, identification reference points and stereo images. The proposed method not only improved the quality of the KH-9 image across the different urban landscape types, but also preserved the original spatial characteristics of the image in comparison with the benchmark methods. At a time when understanding the nature of our changing planet is paramount, the proposed pipeline should be of great benefit to investigators wishing to use KH program images to extend their historical or time-series analyses further back in time.

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Journal Article
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Science of Remote Sensing
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11 Apr 2023 13:20
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 01:34