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Proceedings Paper

Tracking targets in FLIR images by region template correlation
Author(s): Huw S. Parry; A. David Marshall; Keith C. Markham
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Paper Abstract

This paper deals with the problem of providing missile guidance information by tracking a target object form a sequence of image frames captured from a forward looking IR (FLIR) camera mounted inside a missile moving directly towards the target. Many conventional image based trackers trace key reference points over an image sequence using simple correlation processes. However, the presence of noise and the magnification of image features as the camera approaches the object may cause a tracked point to drift. An alternative technique is to track regions formed by image segmentation. Segmentation is the process of partitioning image pixels into regions of homogeneous intensity levels, for example. However, the difficulty of tracking target regions in a noisy scene, typical of FLIR missile guiding systems, is that regions become divided and therefore there may be little correlation between regions in one frame and the text. This paper introduces a new method that provides a robust solution to the problem of tracking target regions. By acquiring a region template of the target in one frame, the target may be located in a future frame by employing a novel method of performing correlation of the template with a segmented image. For the current design, the target template is acquired manually in the initial frame. In subsequent frames, owing to target magnification, the template is updated automatically after the target has been detected. This new technique produces significant reductions in drift rate compared to a conventional point correlation tracker. Results acquired for real FLIR images obtained from an aircraft are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3086, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XI, (23 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277190
Show Author Affiliations
Huw S. Parry, Matra British Aerospace UK Ltd. (United Kingdom)
A. David Marshall, Univ. of Wales/Cardiff (United Kingdom)
Keith C. Markham, Matra British Aerospace UK Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3086:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XI
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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