Publication
ICASSP 2024
Conference paper

Pre-training for SAR-to-NDVI Image Translation

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Abstract

Geospatial machine learning is of growing importance in various global remote-sensing applications, particularly in the realm of vegetation monitoring. However, acquiring accurate ground truth data for geospatial tasks remains a significant challenge, often entailing considerable time and effort. Foundation models, emphasizing pre-training on large-scale data and fine-tuning, show promise but face limitations when applied to geospatial data due to domain differences. Our paper introduces a novel image translation method, combining geospatial-specific pre-training with training and test-time data augmentation. In a case study involving the translation of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of cabbage farms, our approach outperformed competitors by 31% in a public competition. It also exceeded the average of the top five teams by 44%. We publish both our image translation method with baseline methods and the geospatial-specific dataset at https://github.com/IBM/SAR2NDVI.