Radar Tools 0.17 review

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Radar Tools in short RAT is a small collection of tools for processing SAR (synthetic aperture radar) remote sensing data, packed tog

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 3288K
Developer: RAT Team
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Radar Tools in short RAT is a small collection of tools for processing SAR (synthetic aperture radar) remote sensing data, packed together in a nice graphical user interface.

Our motivation to start the development of RAT is that modern remote sensing software like Erdas Image or ENVI include only some basic SAR functionality. Advanced algorithms have to be implemented by oneself.

So we descided to start the development of RAT. RAT should bring modern SAR algorithms to a wider user-base by simplifying in particular the data handling and processing of complex SAR data.

RAT is planned as an ongoing community effort, i.e. there will be no final version with a certain functionality. It is our idea to include more and more SAR tools in future and to make them freely available to the scientific community.

We of course also hope for external contributions. Because of this, the programming interface of RAT is kept quite simple and adding own functions is quite easy. Function templates are included in the distribution and a step-by-step description of how to program a RAT module will appear soon in the documentation.

Here are some key features of "Radar Tools":
General features

Cross-platform (Unix, Windows, Linux & Mac OSX)
Free software, no commercial software license needed (when using the IDL-VM version)
Availability of the complete source code
Modular design, easy to extend by own functions
Small memory footprint even when processing large images (vertical tiling)
No limitation on the image size
Keep track of data representation changes during image processing
Optimised preview on screen while calculations are done in full resolution
Native import routines for E-SAR (DLR) and ENVISAT-IMS (ESA) data
Export possibility to generic graphic formats (png, jpg & tiff)
Undo function for the last processing step

Generic image manipulation

Resize, presumming & cut region
Zooming of an area of interest
Mirror vertical and horizontal
Binary transforms

Single channel SAR

SAR speckle filtering (Boxcar, Median, Gauss, Kuan, Frost, MAP Lee, refined Lee, Lee-Sigma)
Edge detection (RoA, MSP-RoA, Sobel, Roberts)
Co-occurance texture features, variation coefficient
Point and distributed target analysis
Generic slant-to-ground range projection

SAR polarimetry

Polarimetric point target analysis
Polarimetric speckle filtering (Boxcar, Lee, refined Lee)
Polarimetric CFSAR edge detection
Calculation of interchannel ratios, correlation & phase differences
Formation of covariance and coherency matrix, span calculation
Polarimetric basis transforms (linear -> circular ....)
Decompositions (Pauli, Freman-Durdan, Moriyama, Entropy/Alpha, Eigenvalue, Sphere-Diplane-Helix....)
Polarimetric classification (Entropy/Alpha/Anisotropy, Wishart, No. of scatterers, physical, Lee category preserving...)
Polarimetric calibration: imbalance, symmetrisation & crosstalk (Quegan method)

SAR interferometry

Image pair coregistration (coarse, subpixel & spatially varying)
Interferogram formation
Flat-earth removal
Phase-unwrapping (least-squares only)
Phase noise filter (Boxcar, Goldstein & GLSME)
Coherence estimation (Boxcar, Gauss, Region Growing)
Shaded relief calculation

Polarimetric SAR interferometry

Formation of POLINSAR covariance and coherency matrices
Coherence estimation & optimisation
Extraction of optimised ESPRIT phases
POLINSAR speckle filtering (Boxcar, Gauss & Lee)
Coherence analysis in the complex unitary plane

Linux, UNIX or Mac OS-X operating system (experimental support for Windows)
IDL (Interactive Data Language) Version >= 6.1 (commercial, license required), or the IDL Virtual Machine, which can be downloaded and used free of charge.
Some SAR data to work with

What's New in This Release:
Many stability fixes and a crash handler for catching possible bugs.
Additionally, multitemporal analyses can be performed.

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