In the last years, there has been a huge improvement in Electro-Optical (EO) systems effectiveness, due to the availability of large staring arrays detectors with higher performance, as well as strong processing capability. So both in homeland surveillance and for military situational awareness, the use of EO systems, operating from Visible to Infrared, has dramatically grown.
Operations in Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) are frequent during military actions, due to many factors: either natural (poor light, fog, glare etc.) or intentionally produced (smoke, dust etc.). In these conditions the performance of EO sensors is degraded and therefore their effectiveness for Detection, Recognition and Identification (DRI) and Navigation capability. In general, the situational awareness is strongly affected as well as the safety of personnel. Proper techniques are needed to restore (at least partially) the imaging capabilities of EO sensors in DVEs. The project SPIDVE (Study on EO Sensors Performance Improvement in Degraded Visual Environment), promoted by the European Defense Agency (EDA), is focused on the analysis of the impact on EO sensors performance by the adverse visual conditions. It starts from the analysis of the status of the art in terms of technology, processing, measurements and modeling methodologies, based on the existing scientific literature, to carry out an assessment of the most promising technologies for image enhancement and restoration in different DVEs.
Particular care is devoted to the discussion with the final users (the military personnel) to identify the cases of higher interest for their operations. On this basis the possible candidate methodologies shall be analyzed more deeply, evaluating their performance with the aim of selecting the most promising one.
At the end, a possible roadmap for new initiatives to exploit and develop the findings shall be defined.