A novel spatio-temporal FCN-LSTM Network for Recognizing Various Crop Types Using Multi-Temporal Radar Images

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In recent years, analyzing Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data has turned into one of the challenging and interesting topics in remote sensing. Radar sensors are capable of imaging Earth’s surface independently of the weather conditions, local time of day, penetrating of waves through clouds, and containing spatial information on agricultural crop types. Based on these characteristics, the main goal sought in this research is to reveal the SAR imaging data capability in recognizing various agricultural crops in the main growth season in a more clarified and detailed way by using a deep-learning-based method. In the present research, the multi-temporal C-band Sentinel 1 images were used to classify 14 major classes of agricultural crops plus background in Denmark. By considering the capability of a deep learning method in analyzing satellite images, a novel, optimal, and lightweight network structure was developed and implemented based on a combination of a fully convolutional network (FCN) and a convolutional long short-term memory (ConvLSTM) network. The average pixel-based accuracy and Intersection over Union obtained from the proposed network were 86% and 0.64, respectively. Winter rapeseed, winter barley, winter wheat, spring barley, and sugar beet had the highest pixel-based accuracies of 95%, 94%, 93%, 90%, and 90%; respectively. The pixel-based accuracies for eight crop types and the background class were more than 84%. The network prediction showed that in field borders the classification confidence was lower than the center regions of the fields. However, the proposed structure has been able to identify different crops in multi-temporal Sentinel 1 data of a large area of around 254 thousand hectares with high performance.
TidsskriftRemote Sensing
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2019

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