23 February 1985 Real Time Enhancement Of Obscured Infrared Imagery
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Abstract
Defense against detection by thermal infrared imaging systems generally involves the release of various agents along the optical path which act to reduce target contrast in the image. Some obscurants are sufficiently effective to completely obscure the target at visible and infrared wavelengths for reasonably extended periods. The effectiveness of electrooptical systems at threshold contrast levels can be of crucial importance in a wide range of combat scenarios. In modern combat situations critical fire control decisions, either manual or automatic, must often be made in a matter of only a few seconds. Any enhancement of the capability of the electrooptical system can thus be leveraged to very great advantage. There are, of course, numerous digital image processing techniques which can provide the desired target enhancement, however, in most instances these are impractical because of untenable hardware or, more important, time requirements. The ideal solution would involve use of a real time, low cost, simple to use, effective enhancement system. We have evaluated a realtime, analog 3D isometric video system which has been used to enhance low contrast infrared images of a thermally controlled scale tank. A psycho-physical experiment was constructed in which several observers responded to a controlled set of conventional and enhanced infrared images of the target. The experiment clearly demonstrated that the real time enhancement provided by the isometric video system resulted in a significant improvement in low contrast target detectability. Furthermore, the experiment was repeated with simultaneous display of the conventional and enhanced images with the result of still further improvement in low contrast target detectability. We describe the enhancement system and present the results of the evaluation of this device.
© (1985) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Eric R. Craine, Eric R. Craine, George W. Seeley, George W. Seeley, } "Real Time Enhancement Of Obscured Infrared Imagery", Proc. SPIE 0572, Infrared Technology XI, (23 February 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.950668; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.950668
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