19 June 2014 Theory of enhancing thermal imaging through fire
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Fire can overwhelm the field of view of a thermal imaging sensor with intensive radiation, and when presented to observers can cause important cues in the scene to go unnoticed due to the limited dynamic range of displays and of the human visual system. Here we propose a computational method, called software-defined camera (SDC), to improve the image quality for an un-cooled thermal imager seeing through fire that obscures lower-temperature objects in the background. To that end, we developed a novel theory for the arbitrary manipulation of optical radiation sources, which is based on rigorous application of Boltzmann’s molecular thermodynamics. On this framework it is possible to formulate the problem of identification and selective removal/suppression of the optical radiation sources, and thus to design a blind source separation algorithm. Application of the developed theory should make it possible to design a low-cost specialty SDC that is able to see through high temperature fire for locating a relatively low temperature objects such as a human body.
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Jae H. Cha, Jae H. Cha, A. Lynn Abbott, A. Lynn Abbott, Keith A. Krapels, Keith A. Krapels, Harold H. Szu, Harold H. Szu, "Theory of enhancing thermal imaging through fire", Proc. SPIE 9118, Independent Component Analyses, Compressive Sampling, Wavelets, Neural Net, Biosystems, and Nanoengineering XII, 91180A (19 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052654; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052654

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