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Proceedings Paper

Atmospheric turbulence and sensor system effects on biometric algorithm performance
Author(s): Richard L. Espinola; Kevin R. Leonard; Kenneth A. Byrd; Guy Potvin
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Paper Abstract

Biometric technologies composed of electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor systems and advanced matching algorithms are being used in various force protection/security and tactical surveillance applications. To date, most of these sensor systems have been widely used in controlled conditions with varying success (e.g., short range, uniform illumination, cooperative subjects). However the limiting conditions of such systems have yet to be fully studied for long range applications and degraded imaging environments. Biometric technologies used for long range applications will invariably suffer from the effects of atmospheric turbulence degradation. Atmospheric turbulence causes blur, distortion and intensity fluctuations that can severely degrade image quality of electro-optic and thermal imaging systems and, for the case of biometrics technology, translate to poor matching algorithm performance. In this paper, we evaluate the effects of atmospheric turbulence and sensor resolution on biometric matching algorithm performance. We use a subset of the Facial Recognition Technology (FERET) database and a commercial algorithm to analyze facial recognition performance on turbulence degraded facial images. The goal of this work is to understand the feasibility of long-range facial recognition in degraded imaging conditions, and the utility of camera parameter trade studies to enable the design of the next generation biometrics sensor systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9452, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXVI, 94520D (12 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177800
Show Author Affiliations
Richard L. Espinola, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Kevin R. Leonard, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Kenneth A. Byrd, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Guy Potvin, DRDC, Valcartier Research Ctr. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9452:
Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXVI
Gerald C. Holst; Keith A. Krapels, Editor(s)

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