Bridging a Gap in SAR-ATR: Training on Fully Synthetic and Testing on Measured Data

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Obtaining measured synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data for training automatic target recognition (ATR) models can be too expensive (in terms of time and money) and complex of a process in many situations. In response, researchers have developed methods for creating synthetic SAR data for targets using electro-magnetic prediction software, which is then used to enrich an existing measured training dataset. However, this approach relies on the availability of some amount of measured data. In this work, we focus on the case of having 100% synthetic training data, while testing on only measured data. We use the SAMPLE dataset public released by AFRL, and find significant challenges to learning generalizable representations from the synthetic data due to distributional differences between the two modalities and extremely limited training sample quantities. Using deep learning-based ATR models, we propose data augmentation, model construction, loss function choices, and ensembling techniques to enhance the representation learned from the synthetic data, and ultimately achieved over 95% accuracy on the SAMPLE dataset. We then analyze the functionality of our ATR models using saliency and feature-space investigations and find them to learn a more cohesive representation of the measured and synthetic data. Finally, we evaluate the out-of-library detection performance of our synthetic-only models and find that they are nearly 10% more effective than baseline methods at identifying measured test samples that do not belong to the training class set. Overall, our techniques and their compositions significantly enhance the feasibility of using ATR models trained exclusively on synthetic data.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Inkawhich, N; Inkawhich, MJ; Davis, EK; Majumder, UK; Tripp, E; Capraro, C; Chen, Y

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 /

Start / End Page

  • 2942 - 2955

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2151-1535

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1939-1404

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/JSTARS.2021.3059991

Citation Source

  • Scopus