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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 280;

A Hierarchical Maritime Target Detection Method for Optical Remote Sensing Imagery

Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130033, China
Key Laboratory of Airborne Optical Imaging and Measurement, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130033, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Liping Di, Qian Du, Peng Liu, Lizhe Wang, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 16 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Big Data: Theory, Methods and Applications)
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Maritime target detection from optical remote sensing images plays an important role in related military and civil applications and its weakness lies in its compromised performance under complex uncertain conditions. In this paper, a novel hierarchical ship detection method is proposed to overcome this issue. In the ship detection stage, based on Entropy information, we construct a combined saliency model with self-adaptive weights to prescreen ship candidates from across the entire maritime domain. To characterize ship targets and further reduce the false alarms, we introduce a novel and practical descriptor based on gradient features, and this descriptor is robust against clutter introduced by heavy clouds, islands, ship wakes as well as variation in target size. Furthermore, the proposed method is effective for not only color images but also gray images. The experimental results obtained using real optical remote sensing images have demonstrated that the locations and the number of ships can be determined accurately and that the false alarm rate is greatly decreased. A comprehensive comparison is performed between the proposed method and the state-of-the-art methods, which shows that the proposed method achieves higher accuracy and outperforms all the competing methods. Furthermore, the proposed method is robust under various backgrounds of maritime images and has great potential for providing more accurate target detection in engineering applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; ship detection; visual saliency; Entropy information; gradient features remote sensing; ship detection; visual saliency; Entropy information; gradient features

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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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Xu, F.; Liu, J.; Sun, M.; Zeng, D.; Wang, X. A Hierarchical Maritime Target Detection Method for Optical Remote Sensing Imagery. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 280.

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