Ship Detection with TanDEM-X Data Extending the Polarimetric Notch Filter



Marino A & Hajnsek I (2015) Ship Detection with TanDEM-X Data Extending the Polarimetric Notch Filter. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 12 (10), pp. 2160-2164.

Synthetic aperture radar plays a vital role in ship detection due to the possibility of acquiring high-resolution images at nighttime and under cloud cover. This letter is focused on improving ship detection, exploiting the capability of TanDEM-X to collect interferometric data. Currently, along-track interferometry is used to estimate the speed of ocean surface currents or vessels. The detection of ships plays an important role in the retrieval of vessel speed and is mostly executed exploiting only one of the TanDEM-X images (i.e., not taking advantage of the availability of a second interferometric image). The aim of this study is to extend the capabilities of a ship detector previously developed by the authors, namely, geometrical perturbation-polarimetric notch filter (GP-PNF), to include single-pass interferometric information acquired by TanDEM-X. Interestingly, such enhancement makes it possible to employ the GP-PNF with single-polarization data as well. The proposed algorithms and their statistical behavior are tested on five Tandem-X dual-polarimetric HH/VV scenes acquired in the North Sea. The detection results are validated, exploiting the Automatic Identification System location of vessels. All of the new GP-PNF versions show good performance and provide larger vessel-sea contrast compared with single-channel detectors.

Interferometry; polarimetry; ship detection; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); TanDEM-X;

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters: Volume 12, Issue 10

Publication date31/10/2015
Publication date online24/07/2015
Date accepted by journal01/07/2015

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Dr Armando Marino
Dr Armando Marino

Senior Lecturer in Earth Observation, Biological and Environmental Sciences