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Proceedings Paper

Sub-pixel radiometry: a three-part study in generating synthetic imagery that incorporates sub-pixel variation
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Paper Abstract

A pixel represents the limit of spatial knowledge that can be represented in an image. It is represented as a single (perhaps spectral) digital count value that represents the energy propagating from a spatial portion of a scene. In any captured image, that single value is the result of many factors including the composition of scene optical properties within the projected pixel, the characteristic point spread function (or, equivalently, modulation transfer function) of the system, and the sensitivity of the detector element itself. This presentation examines the importance of sub-pixel variability in the context of generating synthetic imagery for remote sensing applications. The study was performed using the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) tool, an established ray-tracing based synthetic modeling system whose approach to sub-pixel computations was updated during this study. The paper examines three aspects of sub-pixel variability of interest to the remote sensing community. The first study simply looks at sampling frequency relative to structural frequency in a scene and the effects of aliasing on an image. The second considers the task of modeling a sub-pixel target whose signature would be mixed with background clutter, such as a small, hot target in a thermal image. The final study looks at capturing the inherent spectral variation in a single class of material, such as grass in hyperspectral imagery. Through each study we demonstrate in a quantitative fashion, the improved capabilities of DIRSIG's sub-pixel rendering algorithms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7695, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XVI, 76950N (13 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.850180
Show Author Affiliations
Sarah Paul, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Adam A. Goodenough, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Scott D. Brown, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Carl Salvaggio, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7695:
Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XVI
Sylvia S. Shen; Paul E. Lewis, Editor(s)

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