An automated ship detection technique includes accessing data associated with an image of a portion of Earth. The data includes reflectance values. A first portion of pixels within the image are masked with a cloud and land mask based on spectral flatness of the reflectance values associated with the pixels. A given pixel selected from the first portion of pixels is unmasked when a threshold number of localized pixels surrounding the given pixel are not masked by the cloud and land mask. A spatial variability image is generated based on spatial derivatives of the reflectance values of the pixels which remain unmasked by the cloud and land mask. The spatial variability image is thresholded to identify one or more regions within the image as possible ship detection regions.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was developed with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.