The aim of this study is to provide a topological optimization method for ship detection in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. The method consists of three steps: pre-processing, sparse representation and classification. For the first step, the variational model is used for SAR image filtering. For the second step, the curvature of the surface manifold is constructed for sparse representation of target. For the third step, the topological derivative method is adopted to locate the target. Experiments show that the proposed method is effective in reducing false alarms, and obtains a satisfactory detection performance.
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