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A technique for the identification and analysis of icebergs in synthetic aperture radar images of Antarctica

Citation

Williams, RN and Rees, WG and Young, NW, A technique for the identification and analysis of icebergs in synthetic aperture radar images of Antarctica, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 20, (15-16) pp. 3183-3199. ISSN 0143-1161 (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/014311699211697

Abstract

This paper describes an image analysis technique developed to identify icebergs depicted in synthetic aperture radar images of Antarctica and to determine the outlines of these icebergs. The technique uses a pixel bonding process to delineate the edges of the icebergs. It then separates them from the background water and sea ice by an edge-guided image segmentation process. Characteristics such as centroid position and iceberg area were calculated for each iceberg segment and placed in a file for input to appropriate statistical data analysis software. The technique has been tested on three ERS-1 SAR sub-images in which it succeeded in identifying virtually all segments containing icebergs of size six pixels or larger. The images were first passed through an averaging filter to reduce speckle. This process produced a pixel size of 100 m x 100 m. As implemented, the technique overestimates iceberg areas by about 20% on average and the detection rate falls off rapidly for icebergs less than six pixels in size. Performance in these areas is expected to improve when additional stages, based on a more detailed analysis of pixel intensity, are implemented. | This paper describes an image analysis technique developed to identify icebergs depicted in synthetic aperture radar images of Antarctica and to determine the outlines of these icebergs. The technique uses a pixel bonding process to delineate the edges of the icebergs. It then separates them from the background water and sea ice by an edge-guided image segmentation process. Characteristics such as centroid position and iceberg area were calculated for each iceberg segment and placed in a file for input to appropriate statistical data analysis software. The technique has been tested on three ERS-1 SAR sub-images in which it succeeded in identifying virtually all segments containing icebergs of size six pixels or larger. The images were first passed through an averaging filter to reduce speckle. This process produced a pixel size of 100 m × 100 m. As implemented, the technique overestimates iceberg areas by about 20% on average and the detection rate falls off rapidly for icebergs less than six pixels in size. Performance in these areas is expected to improve when additional stages, based on a more detailed analysis of pixel intensity, are implemented.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Information and Computing Sciences
Research Group:Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing
Research Field:Image Processing
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability
Author:Williams, RN (Dr Ray Williams)
Author:Young, NW (Mr Neal Young)
ID Code:17409
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Computing
Deposited On:1999-08-01
Last Modified:2007-08-21
Downloads:0

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