ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2018, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 101-119

Monitoring of night fishing boat lights with VIIRS

M.N. Zhizhin 1, 2, 3 , А.А. Poyda 4 , E.O. Tyutlyaeva 5 , V.V. Konoplev 3 , C.D. Elvidge 2 
1 University of Colorado, Broomfield, USA
2 NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Boulder, USA
3 Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia
4 National Research Center Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia
5 RSC Technologies, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 21.12.2017
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2018-15-1-101-119
Since the 70s of the last century, it was known that the satellite images obtained at night time can be used to detect bright electric lights from fishing boats. However, there was still no algorithm for automatic detection of ships using satellite data without operator participation. The paper presents an automatic system for detecting fishing boat lights at nighttime using images from the VIIRS multispectral radiometer on the Suomi NPP satellite. The new algorithm detects isolated bright spots that are sharply visible on the night sea’s surface. The algorithm is based on a high-frequency spatial filter based on the median and Wiener filters. The detection results are supported by additional filters of thunderstorm lightning, straylight in the instrument optics, local sharpness, lunar glint, local correlation in visible and infrared channels to remove interference from moonlight and clouds. The architecture of the data source storage, software implementation of the algorithm and methods of its multi-core optimization for various architectures are described, including KNL, Haswell, Broadwell. As an environmental application, a BACI analysis of the effects of mass fish poisoning off the coast of Vietnam in April 2016 was conducted. The boat detection system can be used both for operational monitoring of marine fisheries and for analyzing the long-term environmental consequences of fishing bans and marine environmental disasters of man-made and natural origin.
Keywords: nighttime remote sensing, multispectral remote sensing, VIIRS, fishing boat lights
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