Optical EngineeringMethod of predicting the probability of human observers recognizing targets in simulated thermal images
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A series of psychophysical trials is conducted to study the human perception of images of various shapes that are degraded by various combinations of Gaussian blurring, sampling, and fixed pattern noise. These images were created using computer programs designed to simulate the types of image degradation associated with thermal imagers that employ focal plane arrays (FPAs) of detectors. A total of 46 observers participated in these trials, during which over 130,000 observations were recorded. The responses collected during the trials are used to develop an empirical model of human vision applicable to 2-D images having a gray scale, but not including other colors. This model can be used to predict the probability of a human observer correctly distinguishing between images of two different objects.