SMALL SATELLITE SENSOR AND PROCESSING ANALYSIS FOR MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS
Mcgowan, Jeremy A.
Racoosin, Charles M.
Lan, Wenschel D.
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The potential feasibility for on-board image processing on small satellites was investigated to meet rapid revisit requirements for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). Hardware and software solutions for on-board processing were explored. Resolution requirements for use of satellite imagery to both determine the type and class of a ship were investigated. Current small satellite imaging sensor technology was discussed to meet this resolution requirement. Current unclassified ship detection and classification software developed by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) was researched and discussed as a possible solution and also to gain an understanding of current image processing software capabilities and shortcomings for identifying and classifying ships. Consequently, the state of the art for satellite digital image processing was investigated along with computer vision and machine learning techniques. MATLAB was used to simulate the effectiveness of current forms of these techniques on high-resolution satellite imagery for certain ship classes. Processing hardware and artificial intelligence image processing algorithms for detecting and classifying ships within images were found not yet suited to full automation and hosting on a small satellite. Further research and development efforts are needed in this area.
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