DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS FROM STEREO, VIDEO AND MULTI-VIEW IMAGERY CAPTURED BY SMALL SATELLITES
Small satellites play an increasing role in earth observation. This article evaluates different possibilities of utilizing data from Planet’s SkySat and PlanetScope satellites constellations for derivation of digital elevation models. While SkySat provides high resolution image data with a ground sampling distance of up to 50 cm, the PlanetScope constellation consisting of Dove 3U cubesats provide images with a resolution of around 4 m. The PlanetScope acquisition strategy was not designed for stereo acquisitions, but for daily acquisition of nadir viewing imagery. Multiple different products can be acquired by the SkySat satellites: Collects covering an area of usually 12 by 6 km, tri-stereo collects and video products with a framerate of 30 Hz. This study evaluates DSM generation using a Semi-Global Matching from multi date stereo pairs for SkySat and PlanetScope, and the dedicated Video and tri-stereo SkySat acquisitions. DSMs obtained by merging many PlanetScope across track stereo pairs show an normalized median deviation against LiDaR first pulse data of 5.2 meter over diverse landcover at the test sites around the city of Terrassa in Catalonia, Spain. SkySat tri-stereo products with 80 cm resolution reach an NMAD of 1.3 m over Terrassa.