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Geomatica OrthoEngine

Orthorectifying Pleiades 1A data

On December 16, 2011, Pleiades-1A was launched successfully in orbit via a Russian
Soyuz ST rocket out of French Guiana. Pleiades-1A is the first satellite of the Pleiades
constellation. The Pleiades constellation will be composed of two very high-resolution optical
Earth-imaging satellites on a Sun-synchronous orbit at 694km. With Pleiades 1A in orbit and
Pleiades 1B scheduled for launch in 2013, the Pleiades constellation will provide very high-
resolution optical products in record time, offering daily revisit to any point on the globe. The
satellite consists of a panchromatic band with resolution of 0.7m in nadir viewing and four
spectral bands (blue, green, red and near infrared) with a resolution of 2.8m in nadir viewing.
Image correction accuracy within 1m and 10m can be obtained with and without ground
control points (GCPs), respectively.

Pleiades image data is distributed in either JPEG or TIFF format. There are two levels of
processing products available: primary and ortho. The primary product is closest to the image
acquired by the sensor and restores perfect collection conditions. The primary product must be
used for orthorectification and DEM extraction in OrthoEngine. The ortho product is
georeferenced imagery in Earth geometry, corrected from off-nadir acquisition and terrain
effects. The user can order bundled (panchromatic and multispectral) product or PMS (pan-
sharpened) product.

The following is a brief tutorial showing a step by step procedure for orthorectifying and
pansharpening Pleiades 1A imagery using Geomatica OrthoEngine 2013. A sample Pleiades
primary data set consisting of panchromatic, multispectral, PMS and tri-stereoscopy images of
Melbourne, Australia, was provided by Astrium Geo Services.

Initial Project Setup

1. Open the Geomatica 2013 OrthoEngine application

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2. In OrthoEngine
a. Click File > New

3. Give your project a Filename, Name and Description

a. Select Optical Satellite Modeling as the Math Modeling Method
b. Select Rational Function (Extract from image) under Options
c. Click OK

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4. Input the appropriate Output projection and GCP projection information for your

Pan Sharpening
Similar to most high resolution satellites, Pleiades panchromatic and multispectral data provide
the opportunity to create 0.7m multispectral pan-sharpened images. Although the user can
purchase Pleiades pan-sharpened (PMS) product directly, in some cases the user may want to
apply their own pan-sharpening. It is always preferable to perform the pan-sharpening process
before geometric correction if a pan-sharpened orthorectified image is desired. This method
works for most areas with gentle terrain. Performing pan-sharpening after geometric correction
often results in small misalignments between the ortho data due to the accuracy of GCPs and
DEMs used in the orthorectification process.

5. Click on Utilities > Merge/Pansharp Multispectral Image

6. Select the Multispectral images in the dataset. Select the DIM_PHR1A_MS_.XML file
a. Select the Panchromatic image. Select the DIM_PHR1A_P_.XML file
b. Select the output filename and location for the output PIX file

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c. Click Pansharp
d. When the pansharp process is complete click Yes when asked to add the scene into
the project

Figure 1a: Pleiades multispectral image of Melbourne, Australia Figure1b: Pleiades panchromatic image of Melbourne, Australia

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About the output

PCIs Geomatica award winning pansharpening algorithm (Co-developed with UNB) is capable of taking a
multispectral image and its coincident/co-registered panchromatic pair and produce outstanding
pansharpened results.
The output is a beautifully sharp high resolution multispectral image with the resolution of the
panchromatic image.
The pansharpened process takes a high resolution panchromatic image and a lower resolution
multispectral image and produces a high resolution multispectral image (same resolution of panchromatic
image) with very sharp edges.

Figure 1c: Pleiades PCI pan-sharpened image of Melbourne, Australia

Geometric Correction
In order to leverage the Pleiades images for applications such as GIS, it is necessary to
orthorectify the images. A geometric model, ground control points (GCPs) and a digital
elevation model (DEM) is required. The Rational Function Method (RFM) has been the most
popular geometric correction method in orthorectifying high resolution images. This method
uses the RPCs provided with the satellite data to perform orthorectification. Since the Pleiades
primary product is provided with RPCs, RFM can be used to orthorectify the data.

7. Select Data Input as the Processing step

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a. Click Open a new or existing image

b. Click New Image

c. Navigate to the location of the data. Select the DIM_PHR1A_.xml file if you wish to
use the raw imagery. If you pansharpened the imagery as shown in the steps above,
the pansharpened PIX file will already be added to the project. Skip to step 8.
d. Select Yes when asked if you want to import the data file to a PIX file for optimized

e. Select a file name and location for your output PIX file
f. Select Yes when asked if you want to create overviews now

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8. To view the output image select the image and click Open

9. In the OrthoEngine toolbar select GCP/TP Collection as the Processing step

a. Select Collect GCPs Manually

Note: GCPs can also be collected automatically using collect GCPs automatically. When
using a 0 RPC adjustment order a minimum of 1 GCP should be collected per image.
When using a 1st RPC adjustment order a minimum of 3 GCPs should be collected per
image. These 3 GCPs should be collected near the boundary of the image as the results
are only accurate within the area bounded by the GCPs.

If you are manually collecting GCPs using Toutins Model, a minimum of 6 GCPs are

b. Collect GCPs for the project using manual entry, from geocoded images, vectors,
chip databases, digitizing tablet or a text file. You can also collect tie points, if you
need to pull multiple scenes together.

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10. In the OrthoEngine toolbar select Model Calculations as the Processing step
a. Click Perform block adjustment

11. In the OrthoEngine toolbar select Ortho Generation as the Processing step
a. Click Schedule ortho generation

b. Move the Available images to the Images to process window

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c. Select an output file name and location for the ortho image
d. Select a DEM file
e. Select a Sampling interval
f. Change the Resampling method to Cubic
g. Click Generate Orthos

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12. To view the completed ortho select File > Image View on the OrthoEngine Toolbar

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