TIE POINTS EXTRACTION FOR SAR IMAGES BASED ON DIFFERENTIAL CONSTRAINTS
Automatically extracting tie points (TPs) on large-size synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images is still challenging because the efficiency and correct ratio of the image matching need to be improved. This paper proposes an automatic TPs extraction method based on differential constraints for large-size SAR images obtained from approximately parallel tracks, between which the relative geometric distortions are small in azimuth direction and large in range direction. Image pyramids are built firstly, and then corresponding layers of pyramids are matched from the top to the bottom. In the process, the similarity is measured by the normalized cross correlation (NCC) algorithm, which is calculated from a rectangular window with the long side parallel to the azimuth direction. False matches are removed by the differential constrained random sample consensus (DC-RANSAC) algorithm, which appends strong constraints in azimuth direction and weak constraints in range direction. Matching points in the lower pyramid images are predicted with the local bilinear transformation model in range direction. Experiments performed on ENVISAT ASAR and Chinese airborne SAR images validated the efficiency, correct ratio and accuracy of the proposed method.