Processing of Synthetic Aperture Radar Images by a Multiscale Boundary Contour System and Feature Contour System
Ross, William D.
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An improved Boundary Contour System (BCS) and Feature Contour System (FCS) neural network model of preattentive vision is applied to large images containing range data gathered by a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor. The goal of processing is to make structures such as motor vehicles, roads, or buildings more salient and more interpretable to human observers than they are in the original imagery. Early processing by shunting center-surround networks compresses signal dynamic range and performs local contrast enhancement. Subsequent processing by filters sensitive to oriented contrast, including short-range competition and long-range cooperation, segments the image into regions. The segmentation is performed by three "copies" of the BCS and FCS, of small, medium, and large scales, wherein the "short-range" and "long-range" interactions within each scale occur over smaller or larger distances, corresponding to the size of the early filters of each scale. A diffusive filling-in operation within the segmented regions at each scale produces coherent surface representations. The combination of BCS and FCS helps to locate and enhance structure over regions of many pixels, without the resulting blur characteristic of approaches based on low spatial frequency filtering alone.