Ship-Iceberg Detection & Classification in Sentinel-1 SAR Images

H. Heiselberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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The European Space Agency Sentinel-1 satellites provide good resolution all weather SAR images. We describe algorithms for detection and classification of ships, icebergs and other objects at sea. Sidelobes from strongly reflecting objects as large ships are suppressed for better determination of ship parameters. The resulting improved ship lengths and breadths are larger than the ground truth values known from Automatic Identification System (AIS) data due to the limited resolution in the processing of the SAR images as compared to previous analyses of Sentinel-2 optical images. The limited resolution in SAR imagery degrades spatial classification algorithms but it is found that the backscatter horizontal and vertical polarizations can be exploited to distinguish icebergs in the Arctic from large ships but not small boats or wakes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event13th International Conference on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation - Gdynia, Poland
Duration: 12 Jun 201914 Jun 2019
Conference number: 13


Conference13th International Conference on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation


  • Sentinel-1
  • SAR
  • Ship detection
  • Ship lengths
  • Icebergs


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