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SOIL MAPPER® (A)ATSR Version: (A)ATSR preliminary spectral categorization system

Stefano Natali(1), Andrea Baraldi(2), Simone Mantovani(1) and Mario Cavicchi(1)

(1) MEEO S.r.l., Strada Luisa, 8, 44020 San Giovanni di Ostellato, Ferrara, Italy
(2) European Commission Joint Research Centre, Via Enrico Fermi, 1, 21020, Ispra (Va), Italy


The (A)ATSR sensor series is capable of observing the earth-atmosphere system into seven spectral bands from visible to thermal infrared with two observing angles. Images are acquired continuously, and a large amount of data (about 1.7 TB compressed data) is stored every year; up to now (A)ATSR data is stored into magnetic and optical media and accessible upon request, so no real time data access is possible. The fully automated SOIL MAPPER® software developed by MEEO for preliminary RS image classification allows drastically reducing data dimension compressing the information content into a discrete set of classes stored into a 1-byte per pixel structure. SOIL MAPPER® is a fully automated, application-independent, multi-sensor, spectral rule-based preliminary (in the Marr sense) classifier of Earth Observation imagery calibrated into top-of-atmosphere reflectance and at-sensor temperature inspired by a paper recently presented in the remote sensing literature [1]. As output, it generates a preliminary classification map where each pixel is associated with one label belonging to a discrete set of spectral categories (where each spectral category is provided with a semantic meaning). A preliminary classification map is suitable for driving further second-stage (e.g., supervised, hierarchical) image analysis algorithms (e.g., segmentation, classification, clustering, topographic correction, etc.) on a stratified (i.e., layer-specific) image basis.

Currently, SOIL MAPPER® is adopted in several ESA Projects where an operational image processing system takes advantage of the semantic content of the preliminary classification map.

In particular, the (A)ATSR version of SOIL MAPPER® is adopted in the framework of the Classification Application-services and Reference Datasets (CARD) project: a web service on the Service Support Environment (SSE) ESA Portal is available to the community free of charge until December 31st 2008 for the elaboration of user-owned (A)ATSR images.

The (A)ATSR SOIL MAPPER® software functioning principles and elaboration examples are here presented; moreover its accessibility though SSE is described.

[1] Baraldi, V. Puzzolo, P. Blonda, L. Bruzzone, and C. Tarantino “Automatic Spectral Rule-Based Preliminary Mapping of Calibrated Landsat TM and ETM+ Images”, IEEE Trans. Geosci. And Remote Sensing, vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 2563-2586, Sept. 2006.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry