Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Harmonizing the Landsat ground reference with the Sentinel-2 Global Reference Image using space-based bundle adjustment

September 24, 2020

There is an ever-increasing need to use accurate and consistent geometric ground reference in the processing of remotely sensed data products as it reduces the burden on the end-users to account for the differences between the data products from different missions. In this regard, United States Geological Survey (USGS) initiated an effort to harmonize the Landsat ground reference with the Sentinel-2 Global Reference Image (GRI) to improve the co-registration between the data products of the two global medium-resolution missions. In this paper, we have discussed the process, results, and the improvements expected from this harmonization of two ground references using space-triangulation based bundle adjustment techniques. The ground coordinates of the Landsat reference library, consisting of 5 million Ground Control Points (GCPs) were adjusted in a series of four simultaneous bundle block adjustments using thousands of Landsat-8 (L8) scenes anchored with more than 300,000 control points extracted from the GRI dataset. The net adjustments to each of the four blocks, namely, Australia, Americas, Eurasia, and Islands, varied anywhere from 1 m to 13 m, depending on the accuracy of the GCPs in these blocks. The use of the GRI dataset in our bundle adjustment not only improved the absolute accuracy of the Landsat ground reference but
will also improve the co-registration between Sentinel-2 and Landsat terrain corrected products, as the European Space Agency plans to process the Sentinel-2 products using the GRI dataset. Independent validation of the Landsat products processed using harmonized GCPs with the GRI dataset indicated a global mis-registration error of less than 8 m Circular Error Probable at 90 % (CE90), an improvement from 25 meters prior to harmonization. The improvements to the Landsat products using the harmonized GCPs will be available to the public as part of Landsat Collection-2 processing by the end of 2020.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Harmonizing the Landsat ground reference with the Sentinel-2 Global Reference Image using space-based bundle adjustment
DOI 10.3390/rs12193132
Authors Rajagopalan Rengarajan, James C. Storey, Michael Choate
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title MDPI Remote Sensing
Index ID 70214661
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

Related Content