Iceberg Detection Using Compact Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar
Synthetic Aperture Radar
Engineering--Electronics and Electrical
Engineering--Marine and Ocean
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AbstractThe management and monitoring of icebergs and sea ice is an important consideration for any maritime operations that take place in the polar and near-polar regions. Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites can provide iceberg detection capabilities over vast areas of ocean with a quick revisit time. Canada's next Radarsat satellite, the Radarsat Constellation, will collect compact polarimetry, a polarimetric SAR configuration that transmits a circular polarization rather than the typical linear horizontal or vertical polarizations. In doing so, it can provide greater polarimetric information than typical linear dual-polarized SAR, without the swath width restrictions of fully polarimetric or quad-polarized SAR. In this thesis, the use of compact polarimetry for iceberg detection is explored. The detection performance of Radarsat Constellation data, simulated using Radarsat-2 data, is assessed using validated iceberg locations collected by a survey vessel. Many new algorithms are tested for use with compact polarimetric SAR data, including detection methods that use pseudo quad-pol reconstruction, wherein quad-pol covariance matrix elements are approximated using the compact polarimetric covariance matrix. Detection using the Stokes parameters is also tested, both through the use of the skew-normal distribution to model the Stokes vector ocean clutter, and also by using the Stokes parameters to calculate the orientation and ellipticity of the polarization ellipse. A method is proposed where the polarization ellipse parameters are then used to vary the detection threshold for each pixel. Discrimination of ships and icebergs after target detection, using a support vector machine classifier, is also demonstrated. Overall, the compact polarimetric data significantly outperformed the linear dual-polarized data, both in iceberg detection and ship/iceberg discrimination. Compact polarimetry shows much promise for maritime surveillance applications.
CitationDenbina, M. (2014). Iceberg Detection Using Compact Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/26410
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