Processing of Synthetic Aperture Radar Images by the Boundary Contour System and Feature Contour System
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An improved Boundary Contour System (BCS) and Feature Contour System (FCS) neural network model of preattentive vision is applied to two 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. Finally, a diffusive filling-in operation within the segmented regions produces coherent visible structures. 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.