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The detection and characterization of vessels from space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery has many applications, from monitoring fisheries to port security. Ideally, the detection and characterization of ships in SAR imagery should occur in a reliable and automated fashion. Additionally, given the wide variability in SAR imaging systems and imaging modes, it is desirable to have a SAR ship detection system capable of detecting ships independent of the system or mode. There are currently a wide range of SAR ship detection systems, for which many review papers have been written [3-7]. However, most operational SAR ship detection systems to date have been tailored to specific sensors or imaging modes. In addition, most produce significant false alarms, and often operate ideally in a semi-automated fashion.