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Charles H. White
,
Imme Ebert-Uphoff
,
John M. Haynes
, and
Yoo-Jeong Noh

Abstract

Superresolution is the general task of artificially increasing the spatial resolution of an image. The recent surge in machine learning (ML) research has yielded many promising ML-based approaches for performing single-image superresolution including applications to satellite remote sensing. We develop a convolutional neural network (CNN) to superresolve the 1- and 2-km bands on the GOES-R series Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) to a common high resolution of 0.5 km. Access to 0.5-km imagery from ABI band 2 enables the CNN to realistically sharpen lower-resolution bands without significant blurring. We first train the CNN on a proxy task, which allows us to only use ABI imagery, namely, degrading the resolution of ABI bands and training the CNN to restore the original imagery. Comparisons at reduced resolution and at full resolution with Landsat-8/Landsat-9 observations illustrate that the CNN produces images with realistic high-frequency detail that is not present in a bicubic interpolation baseline. Estimating all ABI bands at 0.5-km resolution allows for more easily combining information across bands without reconciling differences in spatial resolution. However, more analysis is needed to determine impacts on derived products or multispectral imagery that use superresolved bands. This approach is extensible to other remote sensing instruments that have bands with different spatial resolutions and requires only a small amount of data and knowledge of each channel’s modulation transfer function.

Significance Statement

Satellite remote sensing instruments often have bands with different spatial resolutions. This work shows that we can artificially increase the resolution of some lower-resolution bands by taking advantage of the texture of higher-resolution bands on the GOES-16 ABI instrument using a convolutional neural network. This may help reconcile differences in spatial resolution when combining information across bands, but future analysis is needed to precisely determine impacts on derived products that might use superresolved bands.

Open access