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Performance evaluation of image enhancement techniques on a digital image-intensifier

Author: Dijk, J. · Bijl, P. · Bouma, H.
Publisher: SPIE
Place: Bellingham, WA
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:Holst, G.C., Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XX , 22 April 2009, Orlando, FL, USA
Proceedings of SPIE
Identifier: 28767
doi: DOI:10.1117/12.820002
Report number: SPIE 7300
Article number: 73000F
Keywords: Physics · Image enhancement · Super resolution · Contrast enhancement · Image intensifiers · Night vision · EMCCD cameras


Recently new techniques for night-vision cameras are developed. Digital image-intensifiers are becoming available on the market. Also, so-called EMCCD cameras are developed, which may even be able to record color information about the scene. However, in low-light situations all night-vision imagery becomes noisy. In this paper we evaluate the performance of image enhancement techniques for one type of noisy night imagery, that is a digital image-intensifier. The image enhancement techniques tested are noise reduction, super-resolution reconstruction and local adaptive contrast enhancement. The results show that image enhancement techniques improve the usage of image-intensifiers in low-light conditions. The largest improvement is found for super-resolution reconstruction applied at the smallest objects. This indicates that part of the improvement is obtained by resolution enhancement. Applying LACE does not change the performance, indicating that in this setup LACE performs equal to the automatic gain control of the image-intensifier.