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Proceedings Paper

Detection of aircraft crash sites from space using fully polarimetric SIR-C SAR imagery for search and rescue applications
Author(s): Christopher R. Jackson; Houra Rais
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Paper Abstract

The Beaconless Search & Rescue Program at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been working to solve the technological challenges associated with detecting small aircraft crash sites using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. One area of work has focused on the use of fully polarimetric imagery to both improve image quality and distinguish the crash sites from the natural background. Data from aircraft based SARs have been used for development but since a SAR satellite deployment is one possible option for a practical Search and Rescue system, the work is being extended to satellite SAR imagery. This paper presents the results of processing Shuttle Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C) data collected over an aircraft crash site near Wadesboro, North Carolina through the target detection software developed at GSFC. The results demonstrate the ability to achieve crash site detection using SAR data collected from Earth orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 August 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3718, Automatic Target Recognition IX, (24 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.359953
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher R. Jackson, Radar Imaging Resources (United States)
Houra Rais, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3718:
Automatic Target Recognition IX
Firooz A. Sadjadi, Editor(s)

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