Automatic target recognition in low resolution foliage penetrating SAR using CNNs and GANs

Vint, David and Anderson, Matthew and Yang, Yuhao and Ilioudis, Christos and Di Caterina, Gaetano and Clemente, Carmine (2021) Automatic target recognition in low resolution foliage penetrating SAR using CNNs and GANs. Remote Sensing, 13 (4). 596. ISSN 2072-4292 (

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In recent years, the technological advances leading to the production of high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images has enabled more and more effective target recognition capabilities. However, high spatial resolution is not always achievable, and, for some particular sensing modes, such as Foliage Penetrating Radars, low resolution imaging is often the only option. In this paper, the problem of automatic target recognition in Low Resolution Foliage Penetrating (FOPEN) SAR is addressed through the use of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) able to extract both low and high level features of the imaged targets. Additionally, to address the issue of limited dataset size, Generative Adversarial Networks are used to enlarge the training set. Finally, a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC)-based post-classification decision approach is used to reduce classification errors and measure the capability of the classifier to provide a reliable output. The effectiveness of the proposed framework is demonstrated through the use of real SAR FOPEN data.


Vint, David, Anderson, Matthew, Yang, Yuhao, Ilioudis, Christos ORCID logoORCID:, Di Caterina, Gaetano ORCID logoORCID: and Clemente, Carmine ORCID logoORCID:;