Optical EngineeringEvaluating the effect of infrared image enhancement on human target detection performance and image quality judgement
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We address the problem of the way in which different, wellknown and commonly used image enhancement techniques effect qualitative human image judgments, and quantitative target detection performance. Two different psychophysical experiments are specially designed and performed to show how smoothing, full dynamic range exploitation, contrast and edge enhancement affect human abilities regarding target detection in IR imagery, and how this effect varies with imaging time and target thermal condition. Analysis of results shows systematic dependence on enhancement methods, very good agreement between image quality judgments and both target detection rates and probabilities. Significant interaction between enhancement methods and the time of day when the image is taken is also found.