SAR Target Classification Using the Multikernel-Size Feature Fusion-Based Convolutional Neural Network

It is well-known that the convolutional neural network (CNN) is an effective method for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) target classification. In the convolutional layer of CNN, convolutional kernels of different sizes can extract different feature information of the target. The small-size kernel can extract the local texture feature information, and the large-size kernel can extract the global contour feature information. Traditional CNN methods usually use fixed-size kernels for convolution, and they generally lose part of the target's feature information, resulting in the inaccurate classification of the SAR targets. This article proposes a novel CNN model based on multikernel-size feature fusion (MKSFF-CNN) for SAR target classification. MKSFF-CNN designs a convolutional methodology with a multichannel parallel topology, it uses convolutional kernels of different sizes to extract the multikernel-size deep features of the SAR target, and then, these features are fused in an optimal way to acquire the lowest loss. Moreover, MKSFF-CNN concatenates the fused features extracted by the convolutional layers of different dimensions to achieve the finest classification. MKSFF-CNN greatly elevates the feature representation completeness of the SAR targets so that more useful feature information can be exploited for SAR target classification. Undoubtedly, MKSFF-CNN can achieve a better classification performance compared with traditional CNN models with a fixed kernel size. The superiority of MKSFF-CNN is validated on the moving and stationary target acquisition and recognition (MSTAR) dataset with the detailed objective and subjective evaluation.
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