Shape and Albedo from Shading (SAFS) for pixel-level DEM generation from monocular images constrained by low-resolution DEM

Bo Wu, Wai Chung Liu, Arne Grumpe, Christian Wöhler

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Lunar topographic information, e.g., lunar DEM (Digital Elevation Model), is very important for lunar exploration missions and scientific research. Lunar DEMs are typically generated from photogrammetric image processing or laser altimetry, of which photogrammetric methods require multiple stereo images of an area. DEMs generated from these methods are usually achieved by various interpolation techniques, leading to interpolation artifacts in the resulting DEM. On the other hand, photometric shape reconstruction, e.g., SfS (Shape from Shading), extensively studied in the field of Computer Vision has been introduced to pixellevel resolution DEM refinement. SfS methods have the ability to reconstruct pixel-wise terrain details that explain a given image of the terrain. If the terrain and its corresponding pixel-wise albedo were to be estimated simultaneously, this is a SAfS (Shape and Albedo from Shading) problem and it will be under-determined without additional information. Previous works show strong statistical regularities in albedo of natural objects, and this is even more logically valid in the case of lunar surface due to its lower surface albedo complexity than the Earth. In this paper we suggest a method that refines a lower-resolution DEM to pixel-level resolution given a monocular image of the coverage with known light source, at the same time we also estimate the corresponding pixel-wise albedo map. We regulate the behaviour of albedo and shape such that the optimized terrain and albedo are the likely solutions that explain the corresponding image. The parameters in the approach are optimized through a kernel-based relaxation framework to gain computational advantages. In this research we experimentally employ the Lunar-Lambertian model for reflectance modelling; the framework of the algorithm is expected to be independent of a specific reflectance model. Experiments are carried out using the monocular images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) (0.5 m spatial resolution), constrained by the SELENE and LRO Elevation Model (SLDEM 2015) of 60 m spatial resolution. The results indicate that local details are largely recovered by the algorithm while low frequency topographic consistency is affected by the low-resolution DEM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Event23rd International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences Congress, ISPRS 2016 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 12 Jul 201619 Jul 2016


  • DEM
  • Monocular Image
  • Moon
  • Shape and albedo from shading (SAfS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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