We propose a novel adaptive joint time frequency algorithm combined with the neural network (AJTF-NN) to focus the distorted inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) image. In this paper, a coefficient estimator based on the artificial neural network (ANN) is firstly developed to solve the time-consuming rotational motion compensation (RMC) polynomial phase coefficient estimation problem. The training method, the cost function and the structure of ANN are comprehensively discussed. In addition, we originally propose a method to generate training dataset sourcing from the ISAR signal models with randomly chosen motion characteristics. Then, prediction results of the ANN estimator is used to directly compensate the ISAR image, or to provide a more accurate initial searching range to the AJTF for possible low-performance scenarios. Finally, some simulation models including the ideal point scatterers and a realistic Airbus A380 are employed to comprehensively investigate properties of the AJTF-NN, such as the stability and the efficiency under different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Results show that the proposed method is much faster than other prevalent improved searching methods, the acceleration ratio are even up to 424 times without the deterioration of compensated image quality. Therefore, the proposed method is potential to the real-time application in the RMC problem of the ISAR imaging.
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