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13 May 2011 Quantitative analysis of the improvement in omnidirectional maritime surveillance and tracking due to real-time image enhancement
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Tracking targets in a panoramic image is in many senses the inverse problem of tracking targets with a narrow field of view camera on a pan-tilt pedestal. In a narrow field of view camera tracking a moving target, the object is constant and the background is changing. A panoramic camera is able to model the entire scene, or background, and those areas it cannot model well are the potential targets and typically subtended far fewer pixels in the panoramic view compared to the narrow field of view. The outputs of an outward staring array of calibrated machine vision cameras are stitched into a single omnidirectional panorama and used to observe False Bay near Simon's Town, South Africa. A ground truth data-set was created by geo-aligning the camera array and placing a differential global position system receiver on a small target boat thus allowing its position in the array's field of view to be determined. Common tracking techniques including level-sets, Kalman filters and particle filters were implemented to run on the central processing unit of the tracking computer. Image enhancement techniques including multi-scale tone mapping, interpolated local histogram equalisation and several sharpening techniques were implemented on the graphics processing unit. An objective measurement of each tracking algorithm's robustness in the presence of sea-glint, low contrast visibility and sea clutter - such as white caps is performed on the raw recorded video data. These results are then compared to those obtained with the enhanced video data.
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Jason P. de Villiers, Asheer K. Bachoo, Fred C. Nicolls, and Francois P. J. le Roux "Quantitative analysis of the improvement in omnidirectional maritime surveillance and tracking due to real-time image enhancement", Proc. SPIE 8052, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV, 80520F (13 May 2011);

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