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Proceedings Paper

SAR ATR: so what's the problem? An MSTAR perspective
Author(s): Timothy D. Ross; Jeff J. Bradley; Lannie J. Hudson; Michael P. O'Connor
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Paper Abstract

What makes synthetic aperture radar (SAR) automatic target recognition (ATR) hard? This question is explored by reviewing target, environment, and sensor variability and how they affect SAR images and target recognition in SAR images. Each of these categories of operating conditions (OCs) is reviewed first with a wide open 'real world' scope and then comparing that to the extensive MSTAR SAR data collections. The target OC review considers increasingly fine target categories, from class to type to versions, and then configuration, articulation, damage, and moving-part variants. The environment OC considers topological properties, that might affect 6-DOF pose and terrain obscuration, volumetric (vegetation, snow, ...) and surface scattering properties, and occlusion, layover, and adjacency issues. The sensor OC review is limited to outlining the important properties of SAR imaging systems, such as their variation in frequency, PRF, BW, polarization, depression, squint, SNR, etc. SAR and optical images are used to illustrate OC dimensions. This review is limited to open literature sources and is from an ATR rather than a domain expert perspective. However, this space of SAR ATR OCs will eventually need to be understood before we will truly know the SAR and ATR problem.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 August 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3721, Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery VI, (13 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.357681
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy D. Ross, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jeff J. Bradley, Sverdrup Technology, Inc. (United States)
Lannie J. Hudson, Sverdrup Technology, Inc. (United States)
Michael P. O'Connor, Sverdrup Technology, Inc. and CSG Systems, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3721:
Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery VI
Edmund G. Zelnio, Editor(s)

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