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Proceedings Paper

Automated recognition and tracking of aerosol threat plumes with an IR camera pod
Author(s): Ryan Fauth; Christopher Powell; Thomas Gruber; Dan Clapp
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Paper Abstract

Protection of fixed sites from chemical, biological, or radiological aerosol plume attacks depends on early warning so that there is time to take mitigating actions. Early warning requires continuous, autonomous, and rapid coverage of large surrounding areas; however, this must be done at an affordable cost. Once a potential threat plume is detected though, a different type of sensor (e.g., a more expensive, slower sensor) may be cued for identification purposes, but the problem is to quickly identify all of the potential threats around the fixed site of interest. To address this problem of low cost, persistent, wide area surveillance, an IR camera pod and multi-image stitching and processing algorithms have been developed for automatic recognition and tracking of aerosol plumes. A rugged, modular, static pod design, which accommodates as many as four micro-bolometer IR cameras for 45deg to 180deg of azimuth coverage, is presented. Various OpenCV1 based image-processing algorithms, including stitching of multiple adjacent FOVs, recognition of aerosol plume objects, and the tracking of aerosol plumes, are presented using process block diagrams and sample field test results, including chemical and biological simulant plumes. Methods for dealing with the background removal, brightness equalization between images, and focus quality for optimal plume tracking are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8358, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII, 835806 (4 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919179
Show Author Affiliations
Ryan Fauth, MESH, Inc. (United States)
Christopher Powell, MESH, Inc. (United States)
Thomas Gruber, MESH, Inc. (United States)
Dan Clapp, Ipswich Engineering (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8358:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII
Augustus Way Fountain III, Editor(s)

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