Synthetic Aperture Radar Image Classification: a Survey


In this review paper, several studies and researches were surveyed for assisting future researchers to identify available techniques in the field of classification of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. SAR images are becoming increasingly important in a variety of remote sensing applications due to the ability of SAR sensors to operate in all types of weather conditions, including day and night remote sensing for long ranges and coverage areas. Its properties of vast planning, search, rescue, mine detection, and target identification make it very attractive for surveillance and observation missions of Earth resources. With the increasing popularity and availability of these images, the need for machines has emerged to enhance the ability to identify and interpret these images effectively. This is due to the fact that SAR image processing requires the formation of an image from the measured radar scatter returns, followed by a treatment to discover and define the image's composition. After reviewing several previous studies that succeeded in achieving a classification of SAR images for specific goals, it became obvious that they could be generalized to all types of SAR images. The most prominent use of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) was successful in extracting features from the images and training the neural network to analyze and classify them into classes according to these features. The dataset used in this model was obtained from the Moving and Stationary Target Acquisition and Recognition (MSTAR) database, which consists of a set of SAR images of military vehicles, for which the application of the CNN approach achieved a final accuracy of 97.91% on ten different classes.