Speckle filtering is an unavoidable step when dealing with applications that involve amplitude or intensity images acquired by coherent systems, such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Speckle is a target-dependent phenomenon; thus, its estimation and reduction require the individuation of specific properties of the image features. Speckle filtering is one of the most prominent topics in the SAR image processing research community, who has first tackled this issue using handcrafted feature-based filters. Even if classical algorithms have slowly and progressively achieved better and better performance, the more recent Convolutional-Neural-Networks (CNNs) have proven to be a promising alternative, in the light of the outstanding capabilities in efficiently learning task-specific filters. Currently, only simplistic CNN architectures have been exploited for the speckle filtering task. While these architectures outperform classical algorithms, they still show some weakness in the texture preservation. In this work, a deep encoder-decoder CNN architecture, focused in the specific context of SAR images, is proposed in order to enhance speckle filtering capabilities alongside texture preservation. This objective has been addressed through the adaptation of the U-Net CNN, which has been modified and optimized accordingly. This architecture allows for the extraction of features at different scales, and it is capable of producing detailed reconstructions through its system of skip connections. In this work, a two-phase learning strategy is adopted, by first pre-training the model on a synthetic dataset and by adapting the learned network to the real SAR image domain through a fast fine-tuning procedure. During the fine-tuning phase, a modified version of the total variation (TV) regularization was introduced to improve the network performance when dealing with real SAR data. Finally, experiments were carried out on simulated and real data to compare the performance of the proposed method with respect to the state-of-the-art methodologies.
|Titolo:||Deep learning for SAR image despeckling|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.1 Articolo in Rivista|