Recently, target analysis using satellite SAR images has received much attention in the area of satellite SAR remote sensing. Because the spatial resolution of the target response in the satellite SAR image is a main factor that has a large effect on target analysis performances, the improvement of the spatial resolution of target response is required to enhance the target analysis capability. However, the spatial resolution is already determined in the satellite SAR system design process. To solve the above problem, the super-resolution techniques that have been applied to radar images can be utilized. However, the application of the super-resolution techniques to the target response in the satellite SAR image is not simple due to the following reasons. First, the target’s motion induces severe blurring of the target response, which impedes the successful improvement of spatial resolution. Next, the zero-region in the frequency spectrum of the target image containing the target response also hinders the generation of the super-resolved image. To successfully improve spatial resolution of the satellite SAR image, the super-resolution techniques should be combined with proper preprocessing steps that can cope with the above two issues. In this paper, the whole super-resolution procedure for target responses in KOMPSAT-5 images is described. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the description of the whole super-resolution procedure for target responses is the first ever attempt in the area of satellite SAR. First, a target image containing the target response is extracted from a large-scale KOMPSAT-5 image. Subsequently, the target image is transformed to be appropriate for the utilization of super-resolution techniques by proper preprocessing steps, considering the direction of super resolution and the motion of the target. Then, some super-resolution techniques are utilized to improve the spatial resolutions and qualities of the target images. The super-resolution performances of the proposed scheme are validated using various target images for point static, extended static, and extended moving targets. The novelties of this paper can be summarized as follows: (1) the practical design of whole super-resolution processing for real satellite SAR images; (2) the performance evaluation of super-resolution techniques on real satellite SAR images. The results show that the proposed scheme can led to noticeable improvements of spatial resolution of the target images for various types of targets with reliable computation times. In addition, the proposed scheme also enhanced PSLR, ISLR, and IC, leading to clearer scattering information of the principal scatterers. Consequently, the proposed method can assist in extracting more precise and meaningful information for targets represented in KOMPSAT-5 images, which means great potential for target recognition.
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