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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Ship detection method for single-polarization synthetic aperture radar imagery based on target enhancement and nonparametric clutter estimation
Author(s): Sirui Tian; Chao Wang; Hong Zhang
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Paper Abstract

Ship detection with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery often confronts severe speckle, heterogeneous regions, and system noise which cause false alarms due to the faint ship-sea contrast. Additionally, false negatives also occur when small vessels with low radar backscatter are observed. To solve these problems, a new ship detection method based on target enhancement and nonparametric clutter estimation is proposed. The method not only improves the ship-sea contrast for homogeneous and nonhomogeneous images but also adaptively estimates the clutter distribution in the enhanced image, which is crucial for the constant false-alarm rate (CFAR) detector. Subsequently, ships in the SAR image are detected by the proposed two-stage kernel density estimation CFAR (KDE-CFAR) with a low false-alarm rate and high detection probability. Compared with most existing algorithms, the proposed method provides a robust detection capability for both homogeneous and nonhomogeneous SAR images. Experimental results also reveal that the proposed method is an effective method for ship detection in various Radarsat-1 and Envisat ASAR images acquired with different operation modes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 March 2015
PDF: 21 pages
J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 9(1) 096073 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.9.096073
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 9, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Sirui Tian, Nanjing Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
Chao Wang, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (China)
Hong Zhang, Nanjing Univ. of Science and Technology (China)

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