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Image Communication: New Features of a Remote Sensing Data Ground Segment

U. Benz, M. Datcu, G. Schwarz and K. Seidel
February 1998


Conventional satellite data ground segments comprise sensor mode planning and data acquisition systems, data ingestion interfaces, processing capabilities, a catalogue of available data, a data archive, and interfaces for queries and data dissemination. The transfer of data mostly relies on common electronic networks or high capacity tapes. Future ground segments have to be capable of handling multi-mission data delivered by SAR and optical sensors and have to provide easy user access to support the selection of specific data sets, fuse data, visualize products and to compress data for transmission via Internet. In particular, the search for data sets has to support individual queries by data content and detailed application area ("data mining") as well as capabilities for automated extraction of relevant features and the application oriented representation of results. In the case of SAR image data, we face an enormous volume of raw data combined with very specific analysis requests posed by the users. In order to reconcile these conflicting aspects we suggest the development of a tool for interactive generation of high level products. This tool shall visualize, evaluate, and extract the significant information from multidimensional image data of geographically localized areas. It will rely on advanced image compression methods. Thus, the tool will support the monitoring of the Earth's surface from the perspective of vegetation, ice and snow, or ocean features. Typically, these data sets require the synergetic interpretation of temporal sequences of observations from different sensors such as SAR or multispectral optical data. When interactive capabilities are provided then the information retrieval is automatically supported: the tool helps to find a collection of data sets which best suits the user requests. The interfaces of this tool mainly consist of visual communication, i.e. they provide a sophisticated interactive "quicklook-image epitome" facility allowing the user to visualize, evaluate, and extract the significant information from high complexity multi-dimensional image data. This exchange of information can be understood as image communication, i.e. the transfer of information via visual data. We propose an advanced remote sensing ground segment architecture designed for easier and interactive decision-making applications and broader dissemination of remote sensing data.

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  author = {U. Benz and M. Datcu and G. Schwarz and K. Seidel},
  title = {Image Communication: New Features of a Remote Sensing Data Ground Segment},
  booktitle = {CEOS SAR Workshop, ESTEC},
  year = {1998},
  month = {February},
  keywords = {remote sensing,archive,image communication}