High-Speed Ship Detection in SAR Images Based on a Grid Convolutional Neural Network
As an active microwave sensor, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has the characteristic of all-day and all-weather earth observation, which has become one of the most important means for high-resolution earth observation and global resource management. Ship detection in SAR images is also playing an increasingly important role in ocean observation and disaster relief. Nowadays, both traditional feature extraction methods and deep learning (DL) methods almost focus on improving ship detection
... cy, and the detection speed is neglected. However, the speed of SAR ship detection is extraordinarily significant, especially in real-time maritime rescue and emergency military decision-making. In order to solve this problem, this paper proposes a novel approach for high-speed ship detection in SAR images based on a grid convolutional neural network (G-CNN). This method improves the detection speed by meshing the input image, inspired by the basic thought of you only look once (YOLO), and using depthwise separable convolution. G-CNN is a brand new network structure proposed by us and it is mainly composed of a backbone convolutional neural network (B-CNN) and a detection convolutional neural network (D-CNN). First, SAR images to be detected are divided into grid cells and each grid cell is responsible for detection of specific ships. Then, the whole image is input into B-CNN to extract features. Finally, ship detection is completed in D-CNN under three scales. We experimented on an open SAR Ship Detection Dataset (SSDD) used by many other scholars and then validated the migration ability of G-CNN on two SAR images from RadarSat-1 and Gaofen-3. The experimental results show that the detection speed of our proposed method is faster than the existing other methods, such as faster-regions convolutional neural network (Faster R-CNN), single shot multi-box detector (SSD), and YOLO, under the same hardware environment with NVIDIA GTX1080 graphics processing unit (GPU) and the detection accuracy is kept within an acceptable range. Our proposed G-CNN ship detection system has great application values in real-time maritime disaster rescue and emergency military strategy formulation.