Solano-Correa, YT; Bovolo, F; Bruzzone, L; Fernandez-Prieto, D (2020). A Method for the Analysis of Small Crop Fields in Sentinel-2 Dense Time Series. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 58(3), 2150-2164.

Satellite image time series (SITS), such as those by Sentinel-2 (S2) satellites, provides a large amount of information due to their combined temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions. The high revisit frequency and spatial resolution of S2 result in: 1) increase in the probability of acquiring cloud-free images and 2) availability of detailed information for analyzing small objects. These characteristics are of interest in precision agriculture, where temporally dense SITS can benefit the understanding of crop behaviors. In the past, information about agricultural practices has been collected over large regions and focused on mixed/aggregated crops due to the poor tradeoff between the spatial and temporal resolutions. Products have been generated at low spatial resolution and daily basis or at high spatial resolution and weekly/monthly basis. They are meaningful for large agricultural fields, whereas they are limited when fields show a small average size. In this context, S2 characteristics allow for both high spatial and temporal resolution products. However, no existing automatic method effectively separates small fields from each other in an unsupervised way and deals with data irregularly sampled in time. Thus, this article presents a method suitable for the analysis of small crop fields in S2 dense SITS that accounts for S2 characteristics. The method fuses spatio-temporal information, analyzes data spatio-temporal evolution, and extracts relevant spatio-temporal information. The effectiveness of the proposed method was corroborated by experiments carried out on S2-SITS acquired over an area located in Barrax, Spain.