Operational Potential for SAR-Based Flood Mapping in Urban Environments – Software tools and code development


  1. Barrie, G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
From the perspective of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), rapid-response operations such as disaster relief and non-combatant evacuation have forced a finer granularity on flood mapping capability. There is now a nascent desire to distinguish, within a localized area, flood, street and shadow in satellite imagery, and to obtain these results within tight time constraints. The preference is therefore to acquire single-pass imagery, avoiding issues arising from long repeat intervals where there is a high likelihood of signal decorrelation over multiple images. Additionally, repeat passes may not always achieve optimum viewing geometry, and it is possible that appropriate pre-flood baseline imagery is simply not available for reference. This report discusses issues and challenges surrounding the detection of urban flooding. Within the constraints posed by operational settings, a texture-based method is developed that may be able to furnish actionable information, but as discussed within this document and additional cited references, remains a challenging task.

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Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-TM-2013-159 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2013
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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