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23 May 2015 Navigation lights color study
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The chromaticity of navigation lights are defined by areas on the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) 1931 chromaticity diagram. The corner coordinates for these areas are specified in the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS). The navigation light’s color of white, red, green, and yellow are bounded by these areas. The chromaticity values specified by the COLREGS for navigation lights were intended for the human visual system (HVS). The HVS can determine the colors of these lights easily under various conditions. For digital color camera imaging systems the colors of these lights are dependent on the camera’s color spectral sensitivity, settings, and color correction. At night the color of these lights are used to quickly determine the relative course of vessels. If these lights are incorrectly identified or there is a delay in identifying them this could be a potential safety of ship concern. Vessels that use camera imaging systems exclusively for sight, at night, need to detect, identify, and discriminate navigation lights for navigation and collision avoidance. The introduction of light emitting diode (LED) lights and lights with different spectral signatures have the potential to be imaged very differently with an RGB color filter array (CFA) color camera than with the human eye. It has been found that some green navigation lights’ images appear blue verse green. This has an impact on vessels that use camera imaging systems exclusively for navigation. This paper will characterize color cameras ability to properly reproducing navigation lights’ color and survey a set of navigation light to determine if they conform to the COLREGS.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jose G. Barbosa and Matthew T. Alberg "Navigation lights color study", Proc. SPIE 9456, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security, Defense, and Law Enforcement XIV, 94561A (23 May 2015);

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