IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019 - 60

Automated
Change
Detection
Applications for Synthetic Aperture Sonar
and Future Capabilities
by Tesfaye G-Michael,
Jeannine Abiva,
and Rodney G. Roberts

W

e present an overview of an automated end-to-end
change-detection
process as it is
applied to synthetic aperture sonar
(SAS) imagery. Although we are discussing an example of a single application, the automated change-detection
(ACD) process can be applied to different imaging modalities, such as
medical imaging, synthetic aperture
radar (SAR), remote sensing, and
radio astronomy. This article introduces the different processing steps
of the automation: image coregistration, change-map generation, detection, and data reduction (false-alarm
reduction) as it applies to automatic
target recognition using sonar imagery. We examine
ACD applications to multitemporal SAS imagery in
detecting changes on the sea floor. In addition, we discuss some of the challenges and necessary approaches
to augment the ACD process for operator decision-aid
tools and performance assessment of the process.
Change detection is a technique that locates an area of
modification when comparing multitemporal images over
the same geographic area. It can be compared to the spot
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MSMC.2019.2913168
Date of publication: 5 August 2019

60

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE Ju ly 2019

©ISTOCKPHOTO/D3DAMON

the difference game, where someone is presented with two
similar images and must find how they vary (Figure 1).
Change detection has applications in a wide variety of disciplines and sensing modalities, including remotely sensed
satellite imagery [1]-[3]; SAR [4], [5]; medical imaging [6];
industry applications [7], [8]; visualization [9]-[11]; driverassistance systems [12]-[14]; and data [15].
Sonar systems detect underwater objects by using sound.
They are employed by transmitting a sound pulse to an area,
waiting for a reflection to return to the receiver, and determining the distance of the reflecting object from the time
delay between transmitting and receiving the sound. By
2333-942X/19©2019IEEE



IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019

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