21 September 2004 Adaptive infrared target detection
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Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) algorithms are extremely sensitive to differences between the operating conditions under which they are trained and the extended operating conditions (EOCs) in which the fielded algorithms are tested. These extended operating conditions can cause a target's signature to be drastically different from training exemplars/models. For example, a target's signature can be influenced by: the time of day, the time of year, the weather, atmospheric conditions, position of the sun or other illumination sources, the target surface and material properties, the target composition, the target geometry, sensor characteristics, sensor viewing angle and range, the target surroundings and environment, and the target and scene temperature. Recognition rates degrade if an ATR is not trained for a particular EOC. Most infrared target detection techniques are based on a very simple probabilistic theory. This theory states that a pixel should be assigned the label of "target" if a set of measurements (features) is more likely to have come from an assumed (or learned) distribution of target features than from the distribution of background features. However, most detection systems treat these learned distributions as static and they are not adapted to changing EOCs. In this paper, we present an algorithm for assigning a pixel the label of target or background based on a statistical comparison of the distributions of measurements surrounding that pixel in the image. This method provides a feature-level adaptation to changing EOCs. Results are demonstrated on infrared imagery containing several military vehicles.
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Jonah C. McBride, Mark R. Stevens, Ross S. Eaton, and Magnus S. Snorrason "Adaptive infrared target detection", Proc. SPIE 5426, Automatic Target Recognition XIV, (21 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.542613; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.542613

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