Marino, Armando; Hajnsek, Irena (German Aerospace Center, Microwaves and Radar Institute, Wessling, Germany ETH Zürich, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Zürich, Switzerland)
Walker, Nick (eOsphere, Newbury, UK)
Target detection of marine features is a major topic for the security and monitoring of coastlines. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has been shown to be particularly useful because of its all-weather and night capability. In this paper a methodology based on the perturbation analysis developed by the authors is presented. The latter can be applied for detection of ships (non-marine targets) or classification of sea ice. The algorithm can be considered to be a negative filter focused on sea. Consequently, all the features which have a polarimetric behaviour different from the sea are detected and considered as targets. A complete validation with RADARSAT-2 full polarimetric data was performed in Portsmouth, UK. An accurate ground truth carried out during the acquisition, was accompanied, considering AIS GPS location and photographic evidences. Moreover, a map of the buoys helped locating this typology of targets. The results showed impressive accuracy, with detection of all the vessels seen during the ground truth.