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Performance complexity study of several approaches to automatic target recognition from SAR images

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A framework which allows for the direct comparison of alternate approaches to automatic target recognition (ATR) from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images is described and applied to variants of several ATR algorithms. This framework allows comparisons to be made on an even footing while minimizing the impact of implementation details and accounts for variation in image sizes, in angular resolution, and in the sizes of orientation windows used for training. Alternate approaches to ATR are characterized in terms of the best achievable performance as a function of the complexity of the model parameter database. Several approaches to ATR from SAR images are described and the performance achievable by each for a range of database complexities is studied and compared. These approaches are based on a likelihood test under a conditionally Gaussian model, log-magnitude least squared error, and quarter power least squared error. All approaches are evaluated for a wide range of parameterizations and the dependence on these parameters of both the resulting performance and the resulting database complexity is explored. Databases for all of the approaches are trained using identical sets of images and their performance is assessed under identical testing scenarios in terms of probability of correct classification, confusion matrices, and orientation estimation error. The results indicate that the conditionally Gaussian approach outperforms the other two approaches on average for both target recognition and orientation estimation, that accounting for radar power fluctuation improves performance for all three methods, and that the conditionally Gaussian approach normalized for power delivers average performance that is equal or superior to all other considered approaches

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Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 2 )