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Vancutsem, C, Pekel, JF, Bogaert, P, Defourny, P (2007). "Mean Compositing, an alternative strategy for producing temporal syntheses. Concepts and performance assessment for SPOT VEGETATION time series". INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 28(22), 5123-5141.

Various compositing criteria have been proposed to produce cloud-free images from optical time series. However, they often favour specific atmospheric and geometric conditions, which may cause serious inconsistencies in the syntheses. Algorithms including BRDF normalization minimize variations induced by the anisotropy of the target. However, their operational implementation faces some issues. This study proposes to avoid these issues by using a new strategy based on a statistical approach, i.e. Mean Compositing, and by comparing it with three existing techniques. A quantitative evaluation methodology with statistical tests on reflectance and texture values as well as visual comparisons were applied to numerous SPOT VEGETATION time series. The performance criterion was to best mimic the information content of a single cloud-free near-nadir view image. Moreover a quantitative approach was used to assess the temporal consistency of the syntheses. The results showed that the proposed strategy combined with an efficient quality control produces images with greater spatial consistency than currently available VEGETATION products but produces slightly more uneven time series than the most advanced compositing algorithm.



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