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Epipolar geometry

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Epipolar geometry

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Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, JAPAN,

ono@jf.gee.kyoto-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

This paper presents a practical method of epipolar resampling of high-resolution satellite imagery. Satellite

imagery imaged with a linear array CCD sensor has quite different geometric characteristics from aerial

photographs, therefore the conventional method of epipolar resampling is not applicable to it. On the other hand,

epipolar resampling method based on rigorous orientation model with high geometric fidelity becomes too

complicated and then is not suitable practical use. In order to overcome this problem, the author proposes to

apply the well-established 2D affine orientation model to the epipolar resampling of satellite imagery. Firstly,

this paper roughly mentions the characteristics of this model. Then it is shown how the model is suitably

applicable to epipolar resampling. Secondly, the paper proposes the improved method that does not require any

DTM or rigorous geometric parameters for reduction of vertical parallaxes. Finally an experiment validates the

proposed method with SPOT imagery, where the RMS value of vertical parallaxes between a pair of stereo

epipolar images was less than half a pixel.

KEYWORDS: Epipolar Resampling, High-Resolution Satellite Imagery, CCD line scanner imagery, 2D Affine

Orientation Model, Affine Transformation

1. INTRODUCTION

High-resolution satellite imagery is expected to be a

major source of 3D measurement of ground in the

near future. Especially automatic stereo plotting to

generate DTMs by stereo matching technology is

highly required. However, the projection of satellite

imagery, which is imaged with a CCD line sensor, is

quite different from that of conventional aerial

photographs. This leads to failure of application of

well-known epipolar geometry. CCD line scanner

imagery is not characterized by rigorous three

dimentional perspective projection in a solid frame,

but two-dimensional sequential perspective projection

in a line. It is already reported that strict epipolar

images cannot be generated from SPOT imagery

without DTMs (Otto, 1988). The same applies to

high-resolution satellite imagery with CCD line

scanner.

For this reason, several procedures which generate

pseudo epipolar image by using DTMs have been

presented.

1. In order to generate coarse pseudo epipolar image,

each pixel of satellite image is projected on a

horizontal plane located at an average terrain

still large vertical parallaxes (Haala, 1998). If

DTMs of the corresponding area exist, the

satellite images are projected onto the DTMs and

reprojected onto a new image plane along epipolar

line (ONeill et al, 1988). The idea of this method

is very simple and applicable to every orientation

model. The procedures, however, are complicated

for practical purposes.

2. The epipolar images are resampled under the

assumption that all time-variant factors linearly

affect to satellite image (Otto, 1988). The

relationship between height differences and value

of vertical parallaxes can be described by an

equation. This procedure is not quite complicated

as far as non-linear effects are not considered.

Both of the procedures cannot achieve practical

accuracy without highly precise orientation

parameters. In this study, the author proposes an

alternate method to generate epipolar imagery, which

is very simple, highly accurate and does not require

the rigorous orientation parameters nor DTMs.

2. GEOMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS OF

HIGH-RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY

In comparison with mid resolution (5m-10m on the

ground) satellite imagery such as SPOT, 1m highresolution satellite imagery has a much narrower field

angle. This means that the projection of images is

nearly approximated by parallel rather than central

one. If conventional orientation parameters are used,

very high correlation between them occurs.

A high-resolution satellite image covers a very small

ground area in single scene, which is imaged in a

short time span on orbit. The movement of the

satellite can be approximately expressed by linear

function and its attitude parameters are expected to be

almost constant during the short period.

3. 2D AFFINE ORIENTATION MODEL

y = a22(X-Xoi) + a23(Y-Yoi) + a23(Z-Zoi)

CCD line sensor imagery based on 2D affine

projection. The model named 2D affine orientation

model can be derived from conventional collinearity

equation by consideration of situation mentioned in

the previous section.

Each line of an image is imaged by one-dimensional

central perspective, and each has different exterior

orientation. Let exterior orientation parameters for

line number i be expressed by coordinates of the

projection center Xoi, Yoi, Zoi and angles i, i, i.

These parameters are time variant. Many studies have

indicated that the satellite sensor geometry can be

modeled by elliptical orbit and in this case its attitude

parameters can be expressed with polynomials. The

effect of earth rotation and earth curvature must be

considered. The collinearity equation is described as:

(2)

(3)

(RiRiRi) T . We assume further that the sensor

moves linearly in space and the attitude does not

change. The projection center in each line is

described as follows:

Xoi = Xo + X i

With Xo and X being constant value. The similar

expressions are defined likewise for Yoi and Zoi. Line

number i is expressed by Equation 2 and these ones.

i=

0

X X oi

T

y = (Ri Ri Ri ) Y Yoi

c

Z Z

oi

equation can be described as follows:

(4)

a11 X + a12 Y + a13 Z

coordinate x. Assuming that the attitude does not

change, aij are regarded as constant parameters.

Equation 4 arranged for the constant coefficients is

described by algebraic expression.

x = A1 X + A2Y + A3 Z + A4

(5)

y = A5 X + A6Y + A7 Z + A8

(6)

Equation 5 and 6 describe the collinearity relationship

between the coordinates (x,y) of 2D affine image and

ground coordinates (X,Y,Z).

3.2 Image Transformation

(1)

point, is scale parameter, c is principal distance, y is

coordinate of image point and Ri, Ri, Ri are rotation

matrixes.

Now that the scene is projected to the image by

parallel projection, c can be set to infinity. The third

In reality, satellite images are taken centralperspectively in scanning direction. For rigorous

analysis, the affine image coordinate y must be

transformed to the corresponding original image

coordinate yp. The relationship between yp and y at

plain field is given in the form (Okamoto et al, 1992)

y = y p /(1 (tan ) y p / c)

(7)

image into an affine one

However, at hilly area or mountainous area, we

cannot ignore the image transformation errors due to

height differences in the terrain. Let Z indicate

height difference of a ground point from the average

height and denote the half of the field angle of the

scanner. The image transformation error y due to

neglecting the height difference Z is described as

follows (Okamoto et al, 1992):

(8)

any liner movement and distortion relating to the

images. Although the model is derived under the

assumption that the attitude of sensor does not change

during the acquisition of one scene image, small

changes of attitude parameters can be also estimated

by the model as far as the effects are regarded as

approximately linear.

Under the geometrically

peculiar condition of high-resolution satellite images,

the attitude parameters highly correlate to the

movement parameters. For example, small changes of

are very similar to changes of Zo. Small changes of

are almost same as changes of Xo and Yo. Because

the attitude of satellite is stable, the effects can be

embodied as linear movement or distortion in the

affine images. The effects of earth curvature and

earth rotation are also estimated with them in small

area.

Moreover, this model is capable of geometrically

preprocessed images (e.g., SPOT Level-1B), because

the model does not treat the geometric orientation

parameters directly and then the model allows

deformed images as far as the deformations are linear.

The model is applicable for even the rotated images or

flipped images. This characteristic is very important

for the epipolar resampling method in this study.

4. THE PRIMARY THEORY OF EPIPOLAR

RESAMPLING FOR AFFINE IMAGES

4.1 Epipolar Geometry of Affine Imagery

Neglecting Height Difference in the Terrain

2D affine orientation model has only 8 algebraic

parameters and the basic equations are linear with

respect to the object space coordinates. Therefore, it

is very simple, stable and fast for mapping processing.

central perspective projection with infinity focal

length. Accordingly, we can say that the affine

projection is a special case of the central perspective

projection. For this reason, epipolar geometry of the

affine images is considered by same approach as that

of the central perspective projection images. The

well-known epipolar geometry is illustrated by Fig. 3.

The epipolar plane is defined as a plane in which the

projection center of left image, that of right images

and an object point lie. The projection center of each

image is only one, thus the epipolar plane is

determined by each object point location.

On the contrary, the affine image has no projection

center. In the affine image the direction of projected

ray is same for any point on the image. Now

considering a ray projected from an object point to an

affine image, the epipolar plane can be defined as a

plane in which the rays of the two images lie. The

image and the epipolar plane. In order to generate the

epipolar images, each affine image can be projected to

a same virtual plane by parallel projection (Fig. 4, Fig.

5).

Let the virtual plane be a plane parallel to the right

image. The image projected on the plane from right

image is identical to the right image. On the

condition, projecting the left image to the virtual plane

is just same as processing affine transformation from

the left image to the right image. The relationship

between the left image point coordinates (xl, yl) and

the corresponding right image point coordinates (xr,

yr) is simply described in the following form:

xl = K 1 x r + K 2 y r + K 3

yl = K 4 x r + K 5 y r + K 6

(9)

Number of unknown parameters is 6 and number of

independent equations is 2. Thus, if more than 3

known points are given, the equations can be solved.

Another question is how to determine the direction

of the epipolar line. For this purpose, we shall

consider algebraic solutions of epipolar line of affine

images. As the author has mentioned before, the basic

equations of affine images are described by equation 5

and 6. These equations are written down for a stereo

pair of affine images in the form:

yl = A5l X + A6l Y + A7 l Z + A8l

x r = Alr X + A2 r Y + A3r Z + A4 r

(10)

y r = A5 r X + A6 r Y + A7 r Z + A8 r

By eliminating X and Y from these equations and

rearranging them, the relationship of the left image

point and the right image point with change an object

height Z is described as follows:

x r = B1 xl + B2 y l + B3 Z + B4

y r = B5 xl + B6 y l + B7 Z + B8

(11)

line of affine images is expressed in the form:

Affine Imagery

y r = C1 x r + C 2 y l + C 3 xl + C 4

(12)

Equation 12, more than 4 known identical points

coordinates between left image and right image are

required for the solution of this equation. The

epipolar resampled images can be generated by

rotating the virtual plane images by the angle

corresponded to C1. Finally, in order to generate

epipolar images from affine images, all we need to

know is the coordinates of more than 4 identical

points of the left and right affine images. The

information such as the attitude of the images is not

required at all.

4.2 Application to satellite imagery

Since the actual satellite images are not affine ones,

the images should be approximately transformed into

affine ones by Equation 7 and 8. Equation 8 indicates

that DTMs are required for rigorous transformation.

As we shall see later, however, we do not have to

necessarily use DTMs for the purpose of epipolar

resampling. The transformation error y in scanning

direction causes vertical parallax x (Fig. 6). In order

to avoid this problem, the transformation should be

carried out along the epipolar lines instead of the

scanning lines. Although it is very hard to find the

true epipolar lines on the original image, the direction

of the epipolar line corresponding to the affine images

can be determined easily. The procedures of epipolar

resampling of satellite images are as follows.

1. Approximately, transform the original images to

the affine ones along scanning line

2. Determine the direction of the approximate

epipolar lines on the affine image

3. Transform the original images to the affine

images along the approximate epipolar lines

4. Determine the affine transformation coefficients

(Equation 9)

5. Carry out the affine transformation

6. Determine the direction of the accurate epipolar

line

7. Rotate the affine transformed images by angle of

the epipolar line.

Error into Affine Images

images by using affine transformation. The epipolar

image, that is, also can be treated as another affine

image.

As mentioned in the previous section,

therefore, 2D affine orientation model can be directly

applicable to the epipolar images. The relationship

between ground coordinates (X, Y, Z) of an object

point and image coordinates (xe, ye) of the

corresponding point on epipolar image are described

by same expression as Equation 5 and 6.

xe = D1 X + D2Y + D3 Z + D4

y e = D5 X + D6Y + D7 Z + D8

(13)

least squares method with more than 4 ground control

points data. Since the basic equations are very simple,

this method is appropriate for real time mapping of

satellite imagery.

5. PRACTICAL EVALUATION

5.1 Test Field and Images

comparatively large. It is likely that the geometric

parameters were not gotten accuracy enough.

images were not available, the author used a stereo

pair of SPOT images in order to investigate the

characteristics of this method. Table-1 shows the

condition of the test images. The stereo scene covers

Hanshin area (Osaka, Kobe and the suburbs) in

JAPAN. The southern area of test field is city area

and almost flat. The northern area and the western

area are mountainous terrain. The maximum height

difference is about 1,000m. For the purpose of

verification, 141 check points were measured by

manual. The measurement accuracy of these points is

1/2 pixel to 1/4 pixel. 9 points among the check

points are used for determination of coefficients in

basic equations (Equation 13). Fig.7 shows the test

images and the distribution of the check points.

Table-1 Test Image Data

Left Image

Right Image

Image type

SPOT pan Level-1A

Date

1996.11

1995.2

Lat./Long.

N34.7/E135.5

N32.7/E135.2

Incident angle

L23.0

R17.9

B/H

0.75

Left Image

In this study, four different approaches for epipolar

resampling were evaluated.

1. Ottos approach which uses geometric orientation

parameters

2. Proposed approach, but direction of epipolar line

is not considered.

3. Proposed approach, but DTMs is used at

transformation into affine images.

4. Proposed approach

The results obtained by these approaches are shown

in Table-2. The accuracy of Ottos approach depends

on that of orientation parameters. In this study,

Equation 1 was used as the collinearity equations for

determination of the orientation parameters. The

changes of the parameters were assumed to be linear,

because non-linear model isnt appropriate for Ottos

approach. The RMSE in X,Y of the orientation was

5.1m and that in Z was 6.7m. This result was very

Right Image

Fig. 7. Test Images and Check Points

Black points: check points White points: control points

worked efficiently.

The different between the

accuracy of 2nd approach and that of 4th approach

indicates that consideration of epipolar line direction

to neglecting height differences.

Besides, the

proposed approach without DTMs is no less accurate

than the case using DTMs. From these results, it can

be concluded that epipolar resampling of satellite

imagery in practical accuracy can achieve without

DTMs by using the proposed method.

For the reference of discussion, the results of the

orientation with 2D affine orientation model are

shown in Table-3. We can see that application of the

2D affine orientation model is quite adequate for the

epipolar images.

Table-2 Results of Each Approach (pixel)

1

2

3

4

RMS of

v-parallax

0.615

0.562

0.460

0.469

8

o (x 10 )

RMSE in X,Y

RMSE in Z

Original Images

Epipolar Images

5.92

5.814

7.951

4.92

5.996

7.671

6. CONCLUSIONS

The epipolar resampling approach presented in this

paper is based on affine projection imagery. This

method is, therefore, appropriate for small area

mapping with almost parallelly projected imagery

such as high-resolution satellite imagery.

The

proposed method does not require DTMs or rigorous

geometric orientation parameters. In the practical

experiments, it was shown that accuracy better than

half a pixel was achieved by the proposed approach.

Furthermore, since the resampling process is

independent from the orientation process and the basic

equations of the orientation are very simple, this

method is appropriate for real time mapping.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author would like to dedicate this paper to the

late Dr. A. Okamoto, who had built the fundation of

this method and had given many advices. The author

also wishes to thank to Dr. S.Hattori and Mr. H.

Hasegawa for their assistance with the preparation of

this paper.

REFERENCES

1. G. P. Otto, 1988. Rectification of SPOT Data for

Stereo Image Matching, International Archives of

Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vol.27,

B3, pp.635-645.

2. M. A. ONeill and I. J. Dowman, 1988. The

Generation of Epipolar Synthetic Stereo Mates for

SPOT Images Using a DEM, International

Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote

Sensing, Vol.27, B3, pp.587-598.

3. Norbert Haala, Dirk Stallmann and Christian

Sttter, 1998. On The Use of Multispectral and

Stereo Data from Airborne Scanning Systems for

DTM Generation and Landuse Classification,

Internationl Archives of Photogrammetry and

Remote Sensing, Vol. 32, B4, pp.204-210

4. T. Ono, A. Okamoto, S. Hattori, H. Hasegawa,

1996. Fundamental Analytic of Satellite CCD

Camera Imagery Using Affine Transformation,

International Archives of Photogrammetry and

Remote Sensing, Vol.31, Commision III, pp.611615.

5. A. Okamoto, C. Fraser, S. Hattori et al, 1998. An

Alternative Approach to the Triangulation of

SPOT Imagery, International Archives of

Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vol.32,

B4, pp.457-462.

6. A. Okamoto, T. Ono, S. Akamatsu et al, 1999.

Geometric

Characteristics

of

Alternative

Triangulaion Models for Satellite Imagery,

Proceedings of ASPRS 1999 Annual Conference.

7. A. Okamoto, S. Akamatsu, H. Hasegawa, 1992.

Orientation Theory for Satellite CCD LineScanner Imagery of Hilly Terrains, International

Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote

Sensing, Vol.29, Commission II, pp.217-222.

8. O. Hofmann, 1986. Dynamische Photogrammetrie. BuL, Vol.54(5), 105-121.

9. V. Kratky, 1989. On-Line Aspects of Stereophotogrammetric Processing of SPOT Images,

Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing,

Vol,55(3), 311-316.

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