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Processing, interpretation and exploitation of repeat-pass Synthetic Aperture Sonar data

Abstract : There are many scenarios which call for the surveillance of an underwater scene by means of repeated surveys with high-frequency imaging sonar in order to detect changes which may have occurred during the intervening time interval. With the growing availability of commercial synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) systems it becomes possible to exploit the phase coherence between two complex SAS images in order to detect scene changes which are subtle or even invisible to approaches using only the amplitude of the images. This thesis examines the concept of coherent change detection (CCD) using SAS imagery obtained from separate, repeated passes over the same area. As the images must be processed interferometrically, the challenging problem of co-registration is addressed, with approaches based on image warping as well as renavigation / re-imaging. False alarm reduction techniques are also examined in order to mitigate detections caused by coherence losses which are not attributed to the insertion or removal of targets of interest. The proposed methods are tested on several repeat-pass SAS images collected during experiments at sea, spanning multiple frequency bands and environmental conditions, and show that SAS CCD is not only possible, but also able to detect very subtle scene changes that not observable using standard approaches.
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Vincent Myers. Processing, interpretation and exploitation of repeat-pass Synthetic Aperture Sonar data. Signal and Image processing. ENSTA Bretagne - École nationale supérieure de techniques avancées Bretagne, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019ENTA0002⟩. ⟨tel-02529565⟩

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