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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Statistical Real-time Model for Performance Prediction of Ship Detection from Microsatellite Electro-Optical Imagers

  • 1Email author,
  • 1 and
  • 1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092010:475948

  • Received: 1 July 2009
  • Accepted: 5 November 2009
  • Published:


For locating maritime vessels longer than 45 meters, such vessels are required to set up an Automatic Identification System (AIS) used by vessel traffic services. However, when a boat is shutting down its AIS, there are no means to detect it in open sea. In this paper, we use Electro-Optical (EO) imagers for noncooperative vessel detection when the AIS is not operational. As compared to radar sensors, EO sensors have lower cost, lower payload, and better computational processing load. EO sensors are mounted on LEO microsatellites. We propose a real-time statistical methodology to estimate sensor Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves. It does not require the computation of the entire image received at the sensor. We then illustrate the use of this methodology to design a simple simulator that can help sensor manufacturers in optimizing the design of EO sensors for maritime applications.


  • Radar
  • Performance Prediction
  • Processing Load
  • Sensor Receiver
  • Publisher Note

Publisher note

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Authors’ Affiliations

CISS Department, Royal Military Academy, Avenue de la Renaissance, 30, 1000 Brussels, Belgium


© Fabian D. Lapierre et al. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.