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Journal Article


Ghosh S, Konugurthi PK, Shankar Rao Singupurapu G, Patel S, Tammanagari T, Rao Desu M, Thakar LK, Ghara I. Sensors (Basel) 2021; 21(9).


(Copyright © 2021, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






In recent years there has been an increased interest in ocean surveillance. The activity includes control and monitoring of illegal fisheries, manmade ocean pollution and illegal sea traffic surveillance, etc. The key problem is how to identify ships and ship-like objects accurately and in a timely manner. In this context, currently, many solutions have been proposed based on high resolution optical and radar remote sensing systems. Most often, these systems suffer from two major limitations viz., limited swath, thereby requiring multiple satellites to cover the region of interest and huge volumes of data being transmitted to ground, even though effective per-pixel information content is minimal. Another limitation is that the existing systems are either simulated on ground or built using the non-space qualified/Commercial Of-The-Shelf (COTS) components. This paper proposes an efficient on-board ship detection system/package connected with medium resolution wide swath optical camera. The methodology adopted has three major components, viz., onboard data processing for improving the radiometric fidelity, followed by a ship detection using modified Constant False Alarm Rate algorithm (CFAR) and a false alarm suppression module to mask false identifications. Finally, the package outputs only the locations of the ships, which is transmitted to the ground. The proposed system reduces the effective volume of data to be transmitted and processed on ground and also significantly cuts down the turnaround time for achieving the end objective. The system is built on radiation hardened Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices to meet the various engineering constraints such as real-time performance, limited onboard power, radiation hardness, handling of multiple custom interfaces etc. The system is tested with one of the medium resolution Multispectral Visual and Near Infra-Red (MX-VNIR) sensor having a spatial resolution of around 50 m and swath of around 500 Kms, which would be flown with one of the upcoming satellites. The systems performance is also verified on ground with Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellite's Resourcesat's Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) data and the results are found to be quite encouraging as well as meeting the mission objectives.

Language: en


CFAR; FPGA; maritime surveillance; on-board processing; real-time processing; remote sensing; satellite data processing; ship detection


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