Table of Contents
International Journal of Navigation and Observation
Volume 2008, Article ID 426267, 11 pages
Research Article

Scattering-Based Model of the SAR Signatures of Complex Targets for Classification Applications

Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department Signal Theory and Communications, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

Received 5 February 2008; Accepted 14 May 2008

Academic Editor: Simon Watts

Copyright © 2008 Gerard Margarit and Jordi J. Mallorqui. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The modeling of complex target response in SAR imagery is the main subject of this paper. The analysis of a large database of SAR images with polarimetric and interferometric capabilities is used to accurately establish how the different structural parts of targets interact with the incident signal. This allows to relate the reflectivity information provided by SAR images with specific geometries and to fix variation reflectivity patterns in terms of different imaging parameters such as image resolution, incidence angle, or operating frequency. Most of the used images have been obtained from the SAR simulator of complex targets developed at UPC, which is able to generate realistic data for a wide range of observation and environmental conditions. The result is a precise scattering-based SAR model that opens the door, among others, to an alternative way for reliable geometry retrieval. Under this approach, a novel SAR classification method for ships has been proposed. The preliminary evaluation in simulated scenarios shows a notable classification capability even under strong clutter and ship motion conditions. Due to these promising results, the same methodology is intended to be applied to urban areas. Concerns about possible model limitations and required improvements are preliminarily treated.