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Optimizing the minimum cost flow algorithm for the phase unwrapping process in SAR radar

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The last three decades have been abundant in various solutions to the problem of Phase Unwrapping in a SAR radar. Basically, all the existing techniques of Phase Unwrapping are based on the assumption that it is possible to determine discrete ”derivatives” of the unwrapped phase. In this case a discrete derivative of the unwrapped phase means a phase difference (phase gradient) between the adjacent pixels if the absolute value of this difference is less than π. The unwrapped phase can be reconstructed from these discrete derivatives by adding a constant multiple of 2π. These methods differ in that the above hypothesis may be false in some image points. Therefore, discrete derivatives determining the unwrapped phase will be discontinuous, which means they will not form an irrotational vector field. Methods utilising branch-cuts unwrap the phase by summing up specific discrete partial derivatives of the unwrapped phase along a path. Such an approach enables internally cohesive results to be obtained. Possible summing paths are limited by branch-cuts, which must not be intersected. These branch-cuts connect local discontinuities of discrete partial derivatives. The authors of this paper performed parametrization of the Minimum Cost Flow algorithm by changing the parameter determining the size of a tile, into which the input image is divided, and changing the extent of overlapping of two adjacent tiles. It was the basis for determining the optimum (in terms of minimum Phase Unwrapping time) performance of the Minimum Cost Flow algorithm in the aspect of those parameters.
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Bibliogr. 19 poz., rys., tab.
  • WB Electronics S.A., 129/133 Poznańska St., 05-850 Ożarów Mazowiecki, Poland,
  • Institute of Radioelectronics, Faculty of Electronics, Military University of Technology, 2 S. Kaliskiego St., 00-908 Warsaw, Poland
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