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I am trying to use a DEM rational polynomial coefficient (RPC) information to orthorectify radarsat-2 images with GDAL 2.2.1. I have successfully done this with Orbview-3 images using the tutorial here and running

gdalwarp  -overwrite -s_srs EPSG:4326 -t_srs EPSG:4326 -rpc -to RPC_DEM=dem.tif 3v070302p0001614811a520000100132m_001590624.tif out.tif

However, when I run this command using sample imagery for radarsat 2 (Vancouver_RS2_Fine2_HH_HV_SGF or Vancouver_RS2_FineQuad2_HH_HV_VH_VV_SLC), I get the following error:

ERROR 1: Unable to compute a RPC based transformation between pixel/line and georeferenced coordinates for imagery_HH.tif

Does anyone have experience with this error?

I don't know if it is relevant, but when I call gdalinfo on the orbview image, I get RPC metadata, but I do not get the rpc metadata when I call gdal on the radarsat-2 image (although I do get a long list of ground control points)

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With RS2 you need to point GDAL to either the parent directory or the product.xml file. From your code, you are pointing to the *.tiff file directly. So your modified code should be:

gdalwarp  -overwrite -s_srs EPSG:4326 -t_srs EPSG:4326 -rpc -to RPC_DEM=dem.tif product.xml out.tiff

Also, if you run gdalinfo on the product.xml you will see the RPC parameters.

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