[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 21, No. 3 (2014) 292-297]
© 2014 The Japan Society of Applied Physics

Detection Method for Small and Dim Targets from a Time Series of Images Observed by a Space-Based Optical Detection System

HaiBin PAN1,2,3, GuangHua SONG1,2*, LiJun XIE1,2, and Yao ZHAO2

1Joint Laboratory of Flight Vehicle Ocean-based Measurement and Control, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
2Institute of Aerospace Information Technology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
3Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

(Received September 27, 2013; Revised January 26, 2014; Accepted February 25, 2014)

To revisit cataloged space targets, a space-based optical detection system normally observes space targets continuously in a target tracking mode. In the time series of images produced by continuous observation, there are not only the target but also complicated background clutter (a mass of stars) and noises. The existing method only can detect the target with an signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) greater than 6 from these images. This paper presents a detection method for the target with an SNR less than 6. The proposed method consists of an SNR enhancement algorithm and an adaptive background and noise suppression algorithm. Simulation and analytical results show the proposed method detects the target submerged in noise and background clutter when SNR is equal to 3 and the detection probability and the false alarm probability both reach very high performance. This proposed method can help solve the problem of revisiting some weak cataloged space targets.

Key words: space optical detection sensor, time series images, target detection, cataloged space targets, target tracking mode

*E-mail address: ghsong@zju.edu.cn