Accuracy assessment of interferometric digital elevation models derived from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission X- and C-band data in a test area with rolling topography and moderate forest cover

Kocak G., Buyuksalih G., Oruc M.

OPTICAL ENGINEERING, vol.44, no.3, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1117/1.1870000
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), SRTM X- and C-band data, interferometric DEMs, reference DEM, geometric accuracy, root mean square error
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


In February 2000, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) mapped large areas of the global landmass using two radar systems operating simultaneously in X and C band. The radar mapping instrument consisted of modified versions of the SIR-C C-band and X-band radars flown on the shuttle in 1994. Modifications included a 60-m retractable boom, with C-band and X-band receive-only antennas attached to the boom's end. High-accuracy metrology systems were added to measure position and attitude of the shuttle and the positions of the boom antennas. The dual apertures at each band form radar interferometers suitable for making high-accuracy topographic maps of the Earth. The C-band data set is being processed by JPL for the archives of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The X-band data set is processed and distributed at DLR, Germany. This paper deals with the accuracy assessments of the interferometric DEMs derived from the X- and C-band synthetic aperture radar systems over a testfield with rolling topography and moderate forest cover using the reference DEM digitized from the topographic maps of 1:25,000 scale. Obtained results for the two interferometric DEMs are similar and lie in the range of 10-11 m. The accuracy of SRTM X- and C-band DEMs was also checked against ground control points measured by differential GPS, and the rms height errors were found to be about 9 m, which confirms the results based on the reference DEM. (c) 2005 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers.