Retinex Image Processing--Publications--SPIE 5802, Orlando, Florida Conference

Real-time Enhanced Vision System

Glenn Hines, Zia-ur Rahman, Daniel J. Jobson, and Glenn A. Woodell


Flying in poor visibility conditions, such as rain, snow, fog or haze, is inherently dangerous. However these conditions can occur at nearly any location, so inevitably pilots must successfully navigate through them. At NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), under support of the Aviation Safety and Security Program Office and the Systems Engineering Directorate, we are developing an Enhanced Vision System (EVS) that combines image enhancement and synthetic vision elements to assist pilots flying through adverse weather conditions. This system uses a combination of forward-looking infrared and visible sensors for data acquisition. A core function of the system is to enhance and fuse the sensor data in order to increase the information content and quality of the captured imagery. These operations must be performed in real-time for the pilot to use while flying. For image enhancement, we are using the LaRC patented Retinex algorithm since it performs exceptionally well for improving low-contrast range imagery typically seen during poor visibility poor visibility conditions. In general, real-time operation of the Retinex requires specialized hardware. To date, we have successfully implemented a single-sensor real-time version of the Retinex on several different Digital Signal Processor (DSP) platforms. In this paper we give an overview of the EVS and its performance requirements for real-time enhancement and fusion and we discuss our current real-time Retinex implementations on DSPs.

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