RepDNet: A re-parameterization despeckling network for autonomous underwater side-scan sonar imaging with prior-knowledge customized convolution

Zhuoyi Li, Zhisen Wang, Deshan Chen, Tsz Leung Yip, Angelo P. Teixeira

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Side-scan sonar (SSS) is now a prevalent instrument for large-scale seafloor topography measurements, deployable on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to execute fully automated underwater acoustic scanning imaging along a predetermined trajectory. However, SSS images often suffer from speckle noise caused by mutual interference between echoes, and limited AUV computational resources further hinder noise suppression. Existing approaches for SSS image processing and speckle noise reduction rely heavily on complex network structures and fail to combine the benefits of deep learning and domain knowledge. To address the problem, RepDNet, a novel and effective despeckling convolutional neural network is proposed. RepDNet introduces two re-parameterized blocks: the Pixel Smoothing Block (PSB) and Edge Enhancement Block (EEB), preserving edge information while attenuating speckle noise. During training, PSB and EEB manifest as double-layered multi-branch structures, integrating first-order and second-order derivatives and smoothing functions. During inference, the branches are re-parameterized into a 3 × 3 convolution, enabling efficient inference without sacrificing accuracy. RepDNet comprises three computational operations: 3 × 3 convolution, element-wise summation and Rectified Linear Unit activation. Evaluations on benchmark datasets, a real SSS dataset and Data collected at Lake Mulan aestablish RepDNet as a well-balanced network, meeting the AUV computational constraints in terms of performance and latency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDefence Technology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Domain knowledge
  • Re-parameterization
  • Side-scan sonar
  • Sonar image despeckling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys

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