9 March 2017 Comparison of turbulence mitigation algorithms
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When capturing imagery over long distances, atmospheric turbulence often degrades the data, especially when observation paths are close to the ground or in hot environments. These issues manifest as time-varying scintillation and warping effects that decrease the effective resolution of the sensor and reduce actionable intelligence. In recent years, several image processing approaches to turbulence mitigation have shown promise. Each of these algorithms has different computational requirements, usability demands, and degrees of independence from camera sensors. They also produce different degrees of enhancement when applied to turbulent imagery. Additionally, some of these algorithms are applicable to real-time operational scenarios while others may only be suitable for postprocessing workflows. EM Photonics has been developing image-processing-based turbulence mitigation technology since 2005. We will compare techniques from the literature with our commercially available, real-time, GPU-accelerated turbulence mitigation software. These comparisons will be made using real (not synthetic), experimentally obtained data for a variety of conditions, including varying optical hardware, imaging range, subjects, and turbulence conditions. Comparison metrics will include image quality, video latency, computational complexity, and potential for real-time operation. Additionally, we will present a technique for quantitatively comparing turbulence mitigation algorithms using real images of radial resolution targets.
© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Stephen T. Kozacik, Aaron L. Paolini, Ariel Sherman, James L. Bonnett, Eric J. Kelmelis, "Comparison of turbulence mitigation algorithms," Optical Engineering 56(7), 071507 (9 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.7.071507 . Submission: Received: 1 December 2016; Accepted: 23 February 2017
Received: 1 December 2016; Accepted: 23 February 2017; Published: 9 March 2017

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