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Fast Ocean Front Detection Using Deep Learning Edge Detection Models
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  • Violet Felt ,
  • Shreeyam Kacker ,
  • Joe Kusters ,
  • John Pendergast ,
  • Kerri Cahoy
Violet Felt
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Shreeyam Kacker
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Joe Kusters
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John Pendergast
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Kerri Cahoy
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Small-scale ocean fronts play a significant role in absorbing the excess heat and CO2 generated by climate change, yet their dynamics are not well understood. Existing in-situ and remote sensing measurements of the ocean have inadequate spatial and temporal coverage to map small-scale ocean fronts globally. Additionally, conventional algorithms to generate ocean front maps are computationally intensive and require data with long lead times. We propose machine learning (ML) models to detect temperature and chlorophyll ocean fronts from unprocessed and radiometrically uncorrected satellite im- agery by transfer learning from existing models for edge detection. We use two separate datasets: one based on conventional approaches to ocean front detection, and a second based on human annotated ground truth1. The deep learning front detection approach significantly reduces the resources and overall lead times needed for detecting ocean fronts. The deep learning models are developed with resource-constrained edge compute platforms like CubeSats in mind, as such platforms can address the spatial and temporal coverage challenges. The highest performing models achieve accuracies of 96% and make predictions in milliseconds using unoptimized desktop CPUs and using less than 100 MB of storage; these capabilities are well- suited for CubeSat deployment.
2023Published in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing volume 61 on pages 1-12. 10.1109/TGRS.2023.3276374