Ship detection plays an important role in many remote sensing applications. However, the performance of the PolSAR ship detection may be degraded by the complicated scattering mechanism, multi-scale size of targets, and random speckle noise, etc. In this paper, we propose a ship detection method for PolSAR images based on modified faster region-based convolutional neural network (Faster R-CNN). The main improvements include proposal generation by adopting multi-level features produced by the convolution layers, which fits ships with different sizes, and the addition of a Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN)-based classifier for training sample generation and coast mitigation. The proposed method has been validated by four measured datasets of NASA/JPL airborne synthetic aperture radar (AIRSAR) and uninhabited aerial vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR). Performance comparison with the modified constant false alarm rate (CFAR) detector and the Faster R-CNN has demonstrated that the proposed method can improve the detection probability while reducing the false alarm rate and missed detections.
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