Special Section on Long-Range Imaging

Comparison of turbulence mitigation algorithms

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephen T. Kozacik

EM Photonics, Newark, Delaware, United States

University of Delaware, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Newark, Delaware, United States

Aaron Paolini, Ariel Sherman, James Bonnett, Eric Kelmelis

EM Photonics, Newark, Delaware, United States

Opt. Eng. 56(7), 071507 (Mar 09, 2017). doi:10.1117/1.OE.56.7.071507
History: Received December 1, 2016; Accepted February 23, 2017
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Abstract.  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.

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© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Stephen T. Kozacik ; Aaron Paolini ; Ariel Sherman ; James Bonnett and Eric Kelmelis
"Comparison of turbulence mitigation algorithms", Opt. Eng. 56(7), 071507 (Mar 09, 2017). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.7.071507


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