A comparative study of operational vessel detectors for maritime surveillance using satellite-borne synthetic aperture radar
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This paper presents a comparative study among four operational detectors that work by automatically post-processing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired from the satellite platforms RADARSAT-2 and COSMO-SkyMed. Challenging maritime scenarios have been chosen to assess the detectors' performance against features such as ambiguities, significant sea clutter, or irregular shorelines. The SAR images which form the test data are complemented with ground truth to define the reference detection configuration, which permits quantifying the probability of detection, the false alarm rate, and the accuracy of estimating ship dimensions. Although the results show that all the detectors perform well, there is no perfect detector, and a better detection system could be developed that combines the best elements from each of the single detectors. In addition to the comparison exercise, the study has facilitated the improvement of the detectors by highlighting weaknesses and providing means for fixing them.
CitationStasolla, M., Mallorqui, J.J., Margarit, G., Santamaría, C., Walker, N. A comparative study of operational vessel detectors for maritime surveillance using satellite-borne synthetic aperture radar. "IEEE journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing", 1 Juny 2016, vol. 9, núm. 6, p. 2687-2701.