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Proceedings Paper

Silhouette and background information analysis
Author(s): Michelle N. Moore; John D. O'Connor
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Paper Abstract

Thermal target identification testing was conducted to explore some of the potential differences in the perception of ID cues in conventional gray shade images, and those same target images when rendered as various types of silhouette, including one with no background. Such experiments may give insight into the human target identification and discrimination tasks relevant to emerging laser-based imaging technology. For example, laser range gating is known to produce silhouetted grey shade targets with a single grey shade background like the ones included here. Well-understood thermal imagery of a well-understood target set was chosen as a convenient and relevant baseline image set for initial exploration. Experiments were formed to compare human vehicle ID performance when viewing full gray-shade imagery versus viewing various combinations of silhouette images. Experiments were performed using 1) Original gray-shade imagery, 2) Silhouette (uniform target) with no background (i.e. background consisting of uniform grey shade, 3) silhouette (target) with (original grey shade) background, and 4) Original target with no background. An eight target set was presented at three different aspects. Notional viewing ranges were simulated by applying two levels of Gaussian blur and two down sampling rates to the complete experimental target set. Observer results indicate higher target identification scores for the "target with no background" and "silhouette with no background" imagery than for the original gray shade imagery. However, ID results were lower for "silhouette with background" imagery than for the original imagery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6543, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVIII, 65430R (30 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720892
Show Author Affiliations
Michelle N. Moore, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
John D. O'Connor, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6543:
Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVIII
Gerald C. Holst, Editor(s)

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