29 April 2010 Laser imaging of small surface vessels and people at sea
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The development of new asymmetric threats to civilian and naval ships has been a relatively recent occurrence. The bombing of the USS Cole is one example and the pirate activities outside Somalia another. There is a need to recognize targets at long ranges and possibly also their intentions to prepare for counteractions. Eye safe laser imaging at 1.5 μm offers target recognition at long ranges during day and night. The 1.5 μm wavelength is suitable for observing small targets at the sea surface such as boats and swimmers due to the low reflectivity of water compared to potential targets. Turbulence and haze limits the sensor performance and their influence is estimated for some cases of operational interest. For comparison, passive EO images have been recorded with the same camera to investigate the difference between sun illuminated and laser illuminated images. Examples of laser images will be given for a variety of targets and external conditions.Image segmentation for future automated recognition development is described and examplified. Examples of relevant 1.5 μm laser reflectivities of small naval targets are also presented. Finally a discussion of system aspects is made.
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Ove Steinvall, Ove Steinvall, Magnus Elmqvist, Magnus Elmqvist, Kjell Karlsson, Kjell Karlsson, Håkan Larsson, Håkan Larsson, Maria Axelsson, Maria Axelsson, } "Laser imaging of small surface vessels and people at sea", Proc. SPIE 7684, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XV, 768417 (29 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849388; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.849388

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