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Improved target classification using optimum polarimetric SAR signatures

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1 Author(s)

We present a new method for automatic target/object classification by using the optimum polarimetric radar signatures of the targets/objects of interest. The state-of-the-art in radar target recognition is based mostly either on the use of single polarimetric pairs or on the four preset pairs of orthogonal polarimetric signatures. Due to these limitations, polarimetric radar processing has been fruitful only in the area of noise suppression and target detection. The use of target separability criteria for the optimal selection of radar signal state of polarizations is addressed here. The polarization scattering matrix is used for the derivation of target signatures at arbitrary transmit and receive polarization states (arbitrary polarization inclination angles and ellipticity angles). Then, an optimization criterion that minimizes the within-class distance and maximizes the between-class metrics is used for the derivation of optimum sets of polarimetric states. The results of the application of this approach on real synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data of military vehicles are obtained. The results show that noticeable improvements in target separability and consequently target classification can be achieved by the use of the optimum over nonoptimum signatures

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2002

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