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Proceedings Paper

Sensor-based validation of synthetic thermal scenes: how close is good enough?
Author(s): Jerrell R. Ballard Jr.; Bruce M. Sabol; R. Eddie Melton Jr.
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Paper Abstract

Using synthetic background scenes in the modeling of thermal infrared sensor-based smart munitions offers tremendous flexibility in exploring the performance envelope of these systems. However, to reach this goal, the synthetic background generation process must undergo the scrutiny of verification and validation to be accredited for use with a specific sensor system. Traditional approaches to validating synthetic scenes range from low-level subjective comparison to absolute pixel-to-pixel agreement between the two scenes. Neither of these approaches considers the specific smart munition sensor and processor which ultimately use the scene. In this paper we present an alternate validation approach based on comparison between end performance of a thermal infrared sensor-based smart munition system using synthetic/real scene pairs. Paired synthetic/real thermal scenes, including a low and a high-clutter level, are compared with conventional validation metrics and with the performance-based metric, using various smart munition sensor targeting algorithms. The degree of scene fidelity (absolute agreement between scene pairs) required to replicate performance varies with clutter level and processor algorithm. Under high clutter conditions, greater synthetic scene fidelity is required to match performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3375, Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation IV, (7 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.327163
Show Author Affiliations
Jerrell R. Ballard Jr., USAE Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
Bruce M. Sabol, USAE Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
R. Eddie Melton Jr., DynTel Central Zone Program (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3375:
Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation IV
Wendell R. Watkins; Dieter Clement, Editor(s)

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