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Ship Surveillance With TerraSAR-X

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6 Author(s)
Brusch, S. ; Remote Sensing Technol. Inst., German Aerosp. Center, Wessling, Germany ; Lehner, S. ; Fritz, T. ; Soccorsi, M.
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Ship detection is an important application of global monitoring of environment and security. In order to overcome the limitations by other systems, surveillance with satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is used because of its possibility to provide ship detection at high resolution over wide swaths and in all weather conditions. A new X-band radar onboard the TerraSAR-X (TS-X) satellite gives access to spatial resolution as fine as 1 m. In this paper, first results on the combined use of TS-X ship detection, automatic identification system (AIS), and satellite AIS (SatAIS) is presented. The AIS system is an effective terrestrial method for tracking vessels in real time typically up to 40 km off the coast. SatAIS, as a space-based system, allows almost global coverage for monitoring of ships since not all ships operate their AIS and smaller ships are not equipped with AIS. The system is considered to be of cooperative nature. In this paper, the quality of TS-X images with respect to ship detection is evaluated, and a first assessment of its performance for ship detection is given. The velocity of a moving ship is estimated using complex TS-X data. As test cases, images were acquired over the North Sea, Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Pacific Ocean in Stripmap mode with a resolution of 3 m at a coverage of 30 km 100 km. Simultaneous information on ship positions was available from TS-X and terrestrial as well as SatAIS. First results on the simultaneous superposition of SatAIS and high-resolution radar images are presented.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 3 )