On the influence of sub-pixel position correction for PS localization accuracy and time series quality

Mengshi Yang, Prabu Dheenathayalan, Paco Lopez Dekker, Freek van Leijen, Mingsheng Liao, Ramon F. Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) is a time series remote sensing technique to estimate displacements of geo-objects from the interferometric phases of selected Persistent Scatterers (PS). The relative position of a scatterer within a resolution cell causes an additional phase contribution in the observed phase, which needs to be accounted for in PSI processing. Here we analyze the influence of this sub-pixel position correction on point localization and displacement quality. Apart from a theoretical evaluation, we perform experiments with TerraSAR-X, Radarsat-2, and Sentinel-1, demonstrating various levels of improvement. We show that the influence of the sub-pixel correction is significant for the geolocation of the scatterer (meter-level improvement), modest for the elevation estimation (centimeter-level improvement), and limited for the displacement estimation (submillimeter-level). For displacement velocities, we find variations of a few tenths of a millimeter per year. The effect of sub-pixel correction is most dominant for large orbital baselines and short time series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Displacements
  • Interferometric SAR
  • Persistent scatterers interferometry
  • Phase correction
  • Point localization
  • Sub-pixel positioning


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