DEM-aided block adjustment for satellite images with weak convergence geometry

Tee-Ann Teo*, Liang Chien Chen, Chien Liang Liu, Yi Chung Tung, Wan Yu Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


To acquire the largest possible coverage for environmental monitoring, it is important in most situations that the overlapping areas and the convergent angles of respective satellite images be small. The traditional bundle adjustment method used in aerial photogrammetry may not be the most suitable for direct orientation modeling in situations characterized by weak convergence geometry. We propose and compare three block adjustment methods for the processing of satellite images using the digital elevation model (DEM) as the elevation control. The first of these methods is a revised traditional bundle adjustment approach. The second is based on the direct georeferencing approach. The third is a rational function model with sensor-oriented rational polynomial coefficients. A collocation technique is integrated into all three methods to improve the positioning accuracy. Experimental results indicate that using the DEM as an elevation control can significantly improve the geometric accuracy as well as the geometric discrepancies between images. This is the case for all three methods. Moreover, the geometric performance of the three methods is similar. There is a significant improvement in geometric consistency between overlapping SPOT images with respect to single image adjustment for steep areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5340679
Pages (from-to)1907-1918
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number4 PART 2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Digital elevation model (DEM)
  • Direct georeferencing
  • Modified bundle adjustment
  • Rational function model (RFM)


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