A comparison of robust principal component analysis techniques for buried object detection in downward looking GPR sensor data

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Conference Proceeding

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© 2016 SPIE. Explosive hazards are a deadly threat in modern conflicts; hence, detecting them before they cause injury or death is of paramount importance. One method of buried explosive hazard discovery relies on data collected from ground penetrating radar (GPR) sensors. Threat detection with downward looking GPR is challenging due to large returns from non-target objects and clutter. This leads to a large number of false alarms (FAs), and since the responses of clutter and targets can form very similar signatures, classifier design is not trivial. One approach to combat these issues uses robust principal component analysis (RPCA) to enhance target signatures while suppressing clutter and background responses, though there are many versions of RPCA. This work applies some of these RPCA techniques to GPR sensor data and evaluates their merit using the peak signal-to-clutter ratio (SCR) of the RPCA-processed B-scans. Experimental results on government furnished data show that while some of the RPCA methods yield similar results, there are indeed some methods that outperform others. Furthermore, we show that the computation time required by the different RPCA methods varies widely, and the selection of tuning parameters in the RPCA algorithms has a major effect on the peak SCR.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering