Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Gómez-Enri J., Scozzari A., Soldovieri F., Coca J., Vignudelli S. Detection and characterization of ship targets using CryoSat-2 altimeter waveforms. In: Remote Sensing, vol. 8 (3) article n. 193. MDPI AG, POSTFACH, CH-4005 BASEL, SWITZERLAND, 2016.
This article describes an investigation of the new possibilities offered by SAR altimetry compared with conventional altimetry in the detection and characterization of non-ocean targets. We explore the capabilities of the first SAR altimeter installed on the European Space Agency satellite CryoSat-2 for the detection and characterization of ships. We propose a methodology for the detection of anomalous targets in the radar signals, based on the advantages of SAR/Doppler processing over conventional altimetry. A simple metric is proposed for the automatic detection and separation of ship targets; additional geometric considerations are introduced, to assess the compatibility between the structures detected and the actual location and characteristics of the ships observed. A test-case is presented with multiple targets that are confirmed as large vessels cruising in the proximity of a CryoSat-2 track crossing the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean). The presence and position of these ships at the time of satellite passage have been corroborated by the data retrieved from the Automatic Information System database. A principal motive for this research is the future altimetry missions that will provide global SAR coverage (e.g., Sentinel-3). This methodology may complement the existing tracking systems, with particular reference to the capability of compiling global statistics based on freely available data.
URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/3/193/htm
DOI: 10.3390/rs8030193
Subject SAR altimetry
Satellite radar altimetry
Ship detection
86A05 Hydrology, hydrography, oceanography

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