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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 74; doi:10.3390/rs8010074

On the Use of Cross-Correlation between Volume Scattering and Helix Scattering from Polarimetric SAR Data for the Improvement of Ship Detection

Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Chinese Academy of Surveying & Mapping, Beijing 100830, China
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Academic Editors: Daniele Riccio, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 12 October 2015 / Revised: 31 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
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Abstract

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) ship detection is an important maritime application. However, azimuth ambiguities caused by the finite sampling of the Doppler spectrum are often visible in SAR images and are always mistaken as ships by classic detection techniques, like the Constant False Alarm Rate (CFAR). It is known that radar targets and azimuth ambiguities have different characteristics in polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) data, i.e., first ambiguities usually have strong odd- or double-bounce scattering and the maximum amplitude of the first ambiguity in SHV is always considerably smaller than that of the corresponding target for zero or high velocity. On the basis of this characteristics, this paper finds that first ambiguities usually have low volume scattering power relative to ships and almost have no helix scattering by Yamaguchi decomposition. But some residual ambiguities still exit in the volume scattering power and have similar scattering intensity to small ships, and some parts of a ship also have zero helix scattering owing to some physical factors (e.g., ship structure, radar incidence angle, etc.). Thus, for high-precision ship detection, a new ship detection method based on cross-correlation between the volume and helix scattering mechanisms derived from Yamaguchi decomposition is proposed to avoid false alarms caused by azimuth ambiguities and enhance Target-to-Clutter Ratio (TCR) for improving the miss detection rate of small ships. By experiments, it is proved that our method can work effectively and has high detection accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: polarimetric SAR; ship detection; azimuth ambiguity; Yamaguchi decomposition; CFAR polarimetric SAR; ship detection; azimuth ambiguity; Yamaguchi decomposition; CFAR
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wei, J.; Zhang, J.; Huang, G.; Zhao, Z. On the Use of Cross-Correlation between Volume Scattering and Helix Scattering from Polarimetric SAR Data for the Improvement of Ship Detection. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 74.

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