Active imaging can be used for surveillance or target identification at long range and low visibility conditions. Its principle is based on the illumination of a scene with a pulsed laser which is then backscattered to the sensor. The signal to noise ratio and contrast of the object over the background are increased in comparison with passive imaging. Even though, range and field of view (FOV) are limited for a given laser power. A new active imaging system presented here aims at overcoming this limitation. It acquires the entire scene with a high-speed scanning laser illumination focused on a limited region, whereas at each scan the full frame active image is acquired. The whole image is then reconstructed by mosaicking all these successive images. A first evaluation of the performance of this system is conducted by using a direct physical model. This end-to-end model, realistic in terms of turbulence effects (scintillation, beam wandering ...), gives us a sequence of images a synthetic scenes. After presenting this model, a reconstruction method of the total scene is described. And the performances of this new concept are compared to those of a conventional flash active camera by using usual metrics ( SNR, MTF ...). For various mean laser powers, we quantify the gains expected in terms of range and field of view of this new concept.
This paper describes a data collection on passive and active imaging and the preliminary analysis. It is part of an ongoing work on active and passive imaging for target identification using different wavelength bands. We focus on data collection at NIR-SWIR wavelengths but we also include the visible and the thermal region. Active imaging in NIRSWIR will support the passive imaging by eliminating shadows during day-time and allow night operation. Among the applications that are most likely for active multispectral imaging, we focus on long range human target identification. We also study the combination of active and passive sensing. The target scenarios of interest include persons carrying different objects and their associated activities. We investigated laser imaging for target detection and classification up to 1 km assuming that another cueing sensor – passive EO and/or radar – is available for target acquisition and detection. Broadband or multispectral operation will reduce the effects of target speckle and atmospheric turbulence. Longer wavelengths will improve performance in low visibility conditions due to haze, clouds and fog. We are currently performing indoor and outdoor tests to further investigate the target/background phenomena that are emphasized in these wavelengths. We also investigate how these effects can be used for target identification and image fusion. Performed field tests and the results of preliminary data analysis are reported.