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Method for classifying vessels using features extracted from overhead imagery

Methods for processing overhead imagery of a vessel include the step of determining an initial classification and classification probability based on the vessel length and length-to-width ratio. Next, mutually exclusive deck features can be extracted from the image. For several embodiments, the extracted deck features that can be spherical tanks, hatches and containers that are stored on deck. The initial classification probability is then weighted using the results of the deck feature extraction step to yield a posterior classification probability for the ship image. If the posterior classification probability is above a predetermined value, the image is assigned a posterior classification. If the posterior probability is below the predetermined value, the vessel image is classified as unknown, and the gross tonnage of the vessel is calculated using the length and width of the vessel.

Stephen R. Hobbs, Heidi L. Buck, John C. Stastny, Daniel Garcia, Jason C. Cole, Erin Joslin

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
June 1, 2012
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