Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Dr. John A. Saghri


It is often that images generated from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) are noisy, distorted, or incomplete pictures of a target or target region. As the goal for most SAR research pertains to automatic target recognition (ATR), extensive filtering and image processing is required in order to extract the features necessary to carry out ATR. This thesis investigates the use of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) in order to improve upon the feature extraction process by laying the foundation for ANN SAR ATR algorithms and programs. The first technique investigated is that of an ANN edge detector designed to be invariant to multiplicative speckle noise. The algorithm designed uses the Back Propagation (BP) algorithm to teach a multi-layer perceptron network to detect edges. In order to do so, several parameters within a Sliding Window (SW), are calculated as the inputs to the ANN. The ANN then outputs an edge map that includes the outer edge features of the target as well as some internal edge features. The next technique that is examined is a pattern recognition and target reconstruction algorithm based off of the associative memory ANN known as the Hopfield Network (HN). For this version of the HN, the network is trained with a collection of varying geometric shapes. The output of the network is a nearest-fit representation of the incomplete image data input. Because of the versatility of this program, it is also able to reconstruct incomplete 3D models determined from SAR data. The final technique investigated is an automatic rotation procedure to detect the change in perspective relative to the platform. This type of detection can prove useful if used for target tracking or 3D modeling where the direction vector or relative angle of the target is a desired piece of information.