Using TanDEM data for forest height estimation and change detection
Mapping of forest coverage and forest changes became an increasing issue due to deforestation and forest degradation. Moreover, the estimation of related indicators such as carbon reduction, biomass and wood capacity is of large interest for industry and politics. As forest height is an important contributing parameter for these indicators, the region-wide estimation of forest heights is an essential step. This article investigates the accuracy potential of forest height estimation that can be reached by the current configuration of the two SAR satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. Depending on the chosen acquisition mode and flight geometry, products of different quality can be achieved. Eight InSAR data sets showing different characteristics in geometric resolution, length of baseline, and mapping time, are processed and analyzed. To enable a thorough evaluation of the estimated heights, first-pulse LIDAR point clouds and aerial ortho-images are used as reference data.