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17 May 2012 Adaptive optics to enhance target recognition
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Target recognition can be enhanced by reducing image degradation due to atmospheric turbulence. This is accomplished by an adaptive optic system. We discuss the forms of degradation when a target is viewed through the atmosphere1: scintillation from ground targets on a hot day in visible or infrared light; beam spreading and wavering around in time; atmospheric turbulence caused by motion of the target or by weather. In the case of targets we can use a beacon laser that reflects back from the target into a wavefront detector to measure the effects of turbulence on propagation to and from the target before imaging.1 A deformable mirror then corrects the wavefront shape of the transmitted, reflected or scattered data for enhanced imaging. Further, recognition of targets is enhanced by performing accurate distance measurements to localized parts of the target using lidar. Distance is obtained by sending a short pulse to the target and measuring the time for the pulse to return. There is inadequate time to scan the complete field of view so that the beam must be steered to regions of interest such as extremities of the image during image recognition. Distance is particularly valuable to recognize fine features in range along the target or when segmentation is required to separate a target from background or from other targets. We discuss the issues involved.
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Alastair D. McAulay "Adaptive optics to enhance target recognition", Proc. SPIE 8392, Signal Processing, Sensor Fusion, and Target Recognition XXI, 83921E (17 May 2012);

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