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Dichoptic fusion of thermal and intensified imagery

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Author: Toet, A. · Hogervorst, M.A. · Hoeven, M. van der
Type:article
Date:2006
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:2006 9th International Conference on Information Fusion, FUSION, 10 July 2006 through 13 July 2006, Florence
Identifier: 239732
doi: DOI:10.1109/ICIF.2006.301750
ISBN: 9781424409532
Article number: No.: 4086036
Keywords: Vision · Dichoptic fusion · Image fusion · Intensified imagery · LWIR · NVG · Thermal imagery · Chlorine compounds · Data fusion · Electron tubes · Imaging systems · Imaging techniques · Information fusion · Nuclear physics · Sensor data fusion · Targets · Complex environments · Dichoptic fusion · High-accuracy · Image fusion · Intensified imagery · International conferences · LWIR · LWIR imagery · Micro-bolometer · Monocular images · Nighttime operations · NVG · Situational awareness · Thermal imagery · Uncooled · Visual targets · Fusion reactions

Abstract

Subjects used the dichoptic combination of a monocular image intensifier (NVG) and a monocular uncooled microbolometer (LWIR) to detect and localise both visual targets and camouflaged thermal targets while moving through a dimly lit complex environment. The NVG imagery enabled the subjects to move freely through the environment with high accuracy, but did not mediate the detection of camouflaged thermal targets. The LWIR mode mediated the detection of camouflaged thermal targets but did not allow the detection of visual targets, and provided insufficient detail to allow accurate movement through the environment. Subjects were quite capable to dichoptically fuse the individual LWIR and NVG images, enabling them to detect all (visual and thermal) targets while moving accurately through the environment. We conclude that dichoptic fusion of NVG and LWIR imagery is quite feasible and is a simple way to provide observers with enhanced situational awareness in nighttime operations.