Three-dimensional phase unwrapping for satellite radar interferometry, I: DEM generation

Batuhan Osmanoglu, Timothy H. Dixon, Shimon Wdowinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Determining the Earth's surface topography and deformation with interferometric synthetic aperture radar involves measurement of phase, which, for a typical coherent radar signal, can only be done modulo $2\pi$. The cycle of ambiguity inherent in the phase measurement has to be unwrapped over all observation dimensions (e.g., azimuth, range, and time) to remove the $2\pi$ ambiguity of the phase measurements. For a time series of SAR images, useful for reducing noise in topographic applications or measuring time-varying surface deformation, the necessary steps to connect ambiguous radar phase measurements are more challenging, and the operation may be termed 3-D phase unwrapping. We describe a 3-D unwrapping approach using an extended Kalman filter. Our approach readily exploits existing information, and is robust in the presence of noise. For all tested data sets, it provides improved accuracy compared to existing approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6510502
Pages (from-to)1059-1075
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


  • Digital elevation models
  • kalman filters
  • radar interferometry
  • synthetic aperture radar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-dimensional phase unwrapping for satellite radar interferometry, I: DEM generation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this