AUTOMATIC DETECTION OF CLOUDS AND SHADOWS USING HIGH RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGE TIME SERIES
- IGN-F, Ramonville Saint-Agne, France
Keywords: Clouds, Shadows, Landsat-8, Pléiades-HR, Time Series, Image Sequences
Abstract. Detecting clouds and their shadows is one of the primaries steps to perform when processing satellite images because they may alter the quality of some products such as large-area orthomosaics. The main goal of this paper is to present the automatic method developed at IGN-France for detecting clouds and shadows in a sequence of satellite images. In our work, surface reflectance orthoimages are used. They were processed from initial satellite images using a dedicated software. The cloud detection step consists of a region-growing algorithm. Seeds are firstly extracted. For that purpose and for each input ortho-image to process, we select the other ortho-images of the sequence that intersect it. The pixels of the input ortho-image are secondly labelled seeds if the difference of reflectance (in the blue channel) with overlapping ortho-images is bigger than a given threshold. Clouds are eventually delineated using a region-growing method based on a radiometric and homogeneity criterion. Regarding the shadow detection, our method is based on the idea that a shadow pixel is darker when comparing to the other images of the time series. The detection is basically composed of three steps. Firstly, we compute a synthetic ortho-image covering the whole study area. Its pixels have a value corresponding to the median value of all input reflectance ortho-images intersecting at that pixel location. Secondly, for each input ortho-image, a pixel is labelled shadows if the difference of reflectance (in the NIR channel) with the synthetic ortho-image is below a given threshold. Eventually, an optional region-growing step may be used to refine the results. Note that pixels labelled clouds during the cloud detection are not used for computing the median value in the first step; additionally, the NIR input data channel is used to perform the shadow detection, because it appeared to better discriminate shadow pixels. The method was tested on times series of Landsat 8 and Pléiades-HR images and our first experiments show the feasibility to automate the detection of shadows and clouds in satellite image sequences.