Mapping of polar areas based on high-resolution satellite images: the example of the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station

Zdzisław Kurczyński, Sebastian Różycki, Paweł Bylina


To produce orthophotomaps or digital elevation models, the most commonly used method is photogrammetric measurement. However, the use of aerial images is not easy in polar regions for logistical reasons. In these areas, remote sensing data acquired from satellite systems is much more useful. This paper presents the basic technical requirements of different products which can be obtain (in particular orthoimages and digital elevation model (DEM)) using Very-High-Resolution Satellite (VHRS) images. The study area was situated in the vicinity of the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station on the Western Shore of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Western Antarctic. Image processing was applied on two triplets of images acquired by the Pléiades 1A and 1B in March 2013. The results of the generation of orthoimages from the Pléiades systems without control points showed that the proposed method can achieve Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) of 3–9 m. The presented Pléiades images are useful for thematic remote sensing analysis and processing of measurements. Using satellite images to produce remote sensing products for polar regions is highly beneficial and reliable and compares well with more expensive airborne photographs or field surveys.


polar regions; satellite images; VHRS; orthophoto; georeferencing; geolocation

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