Dual Link Image Coding for Earth Observation Satellites

Francesc Aulí-Llinàs, Michael W. Marcellin, Victor Sanchez, Joan Bartrina-Rapesta, Miguel Hernández-Cabronero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The conventional strategy to download images captured by satellites is to compress the data on board and then transmit them via the downlink. It often happens that the capacity of the downlink is too small to accommodate all the acquired data, so the images are trimmed and/or transmitted through lossy regimes. This paper introduces a coding system that increases the amount and quality of the downloaded imaging data. The main insight of this paper is to use both the uplink and the downlink to code the images. The uplink is employed to send reference information to the satellite so that the onboard coding system can achieve higher efficiency. This reference information is computed on the ground, possibly employing extensive data and computational resources. The proposed system is called dual link image coding. As it is devised in this paper, it is suitable for Earth observation satellites with polar orbits. Experimental results obtained for data sets acquired by the Landsat 8 satellite indicate significant coding gains with respect to conventional methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8307760
Pages (from-to)5083-5096
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Dual link image coding
  • JPEG2000
  • satellite data transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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