Hyperspectral remote sensing images are usually affected by atmospheric conditions such as clouds and their shadows, which represents a contamination of reflectance data and complicates the extraction of biophysical variables to monitor phenological cycles of crops. This paper explores a cloud removal approach based on reflectance prediction using multi-temporal data and spatio-temporal statistical models. In particular, a covariance model that captures the behavior of spatial and temporal components in data simultaneously (i.e. non-separable) is considered. Eight weekly images collected from the Hyperion hyper-spectrometer instrument over an agricultural region of Saudi Arabia were used to reconstruct a scene with the presence of cloudy affected pixels over a center-pivot crop. A subset of reflectance values of cloud-free pixels from 50 bands in the spectral range from 426.82 to 884.7 nm at each date, were used as input to fit a parametric family of non-separable and stationary spatio-temporal covariance functions. Applying simple kriging as an interpolator, cloud affected pixels were replaced by cloud-free predicted values per band, obtaining their respective predicted spectral profiles at the same time. An exercise of reconstructing simulated cloudy pixels in a different swath was conducted to assess the model accuracy, achieving root mean square error (RMSE) values per band less than or equal to 3%. The spatial coherence of the results was also checked through absolute error distribution maps demonstrating their consistency.
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