Airport Detection in SAR Images Via Salient Line Segment Detector and Edge-Oriented Region Growing

Jun Tu, Fei Gao*, Jinping Sun, Amir Hussain, Huiyu Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Airport detection in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images has attracted much concern in the field of remote sensing. Affected by other salient objects with geometrical features similar to those of airports, traditional methods often generate false detections. In order to produce the geometrical features of airports and suppress the influence of irrelevant objects, we propose a novel method for airport detection in SAR images. First, a salient line segment detector is constructed to extract salient line segments in the SAR images. Second, we obtain the airport support regions by grouping these line segments according to the commonality of these geometrical features. Finally, we design an edge-oriented region growing (EORG) algorithm, where growing seeds are selected from the airport support regions with the help of edge information in SAR images. Using EORG, the airport region can be mapped by performing region growing with these seeds. We implement experiments on real radar images to validate the effectiveness of our method. The experimental results demonstrate that our method can acquire more accurate locations and contours of airports than several state-of-the-art airport detection algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-326
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 06 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61771027, Grant 61071139, Grant 61471019, Grant 61501011, and Grant 61171122. The work of Amir Hussain was supported by the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under Grant EP/M026981/1. The work of Huiyu Zhou was supported in part by the U.K.EPSRC under Grant EP/N011074/1, in part by the Royal Society-Newton Advanced Fellowship under Grant NA160342, and in part by the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska Curie Grant 720325.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008-2012 IEEE.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Airport detection
  • line segment detector (LSD)
  • region growing
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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