In image fusion, the spatial resolution ratio can be defined as the ratio between the spatial resolution of the high-resolution panchromatic image and that of the low-resolution multispectral image. This paper attempts to assess the effects of the spatial resolution ratio of the input images on the quality of the fused image. Experimental results indicate that a spatial resolution ratio of 1:10 or higher is desired for optimal multisensor image fusion provided the input panchromatic image is not downsampled to a coarser resolution. Due to the synthetic pixels generated from resampling, the quality of the fused image decreases as the spatial resolution ratio decreases (e.g. from 1:10 to 1:30). However, even with a spatial resolution ratio as small as 1:30, the quality of the fused image is still better than the original multispectral image alone for feature interpretation. In cases where the spatial resolution ratio is too small (e.g. 1:30), to obtain better spectral integrity of the fused image, one may downsample the input high-resolution panchromatic image to a slightly lower resolution before fusing it with the multispectral image.
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Effects of spatial resolution ratio in image fusion