Research Reports

Evaluation of the Use of High-Resolution Satellite Imagery in Transportation Applications

Principal Investigator:

Rocio Alba-Flores

August 2005

Report no. CTS 05-11

Topics: Traffic Operations

In the last decade, with the advance of technology, and the development of more sophisticated remote sensing sensors systems, the use of satellite imagery and remote sensing has opened the fields of exploration and application. Among these new fields is transportation. As this imagery data becomes more readily available, transportation organizations will have to learn to exploit these useful systems, and probably make changes in their current approaches to planning and operations.

In this project two sets of programs, based on image-processing techniques, were developed. The first set contains algorithms that detect the roadways. The second set of algorithms detects, classifies, and counts the vehicles on the roadways. For both applications, IKONOS 1-m panchromatic imagery was used. The MATLAB (TM) software was used for the implementation of the programs. A meticulous literature review was performed to identify the current limitations in technology to be able to use remote sensing data to detect snow and ice on the roadways.

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