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Proceedings Paper

Extended use of ISO 15739 incremental signal-to-noise ratio as reliability criterion for multiple-slope wide dynamic range image capture
Author(s): Dirk Hertel
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Paper Abstract

In the emerging field of automotive vision, video capture is the critical front-end of driver assistance and active safety systems. Previous photospace measurements have shown that light levels in natural traffic scenes may contain an extremely wide intra-scene intensity range. This requires the camera to have a wide dynamic range (WDR) for it to adapt quickly to changing lighting conditions and to reliably capture all scene detail. Multiple-slope CMOS technology offers a cost-effective way of adaptively extending dynamic range by partially resetting (recharging) the CMOS pixel once or more often within each frame time. This avoids saturation and leads to a response curve with piecewise linear slopes of progressively increasing compression. It was observed that the image quality from multiple-slope image capture is strongly dependent on the control (height and time) of each reset barrier. As compression and thus dynamic range increase there is a trade-off against contrast and detail loss. Incremental signal-to-noise ratio (iSNR) is proposed in ISO 15739 for determining dynamic range. Measurements and computer simulations revealed that the observed trade-off between WDR extension and the loss of local detail could be explained by a drop in iSNR at each reset point. If a reset barrier is not optimally placed then iSNR may drop below the detection limit so that an 'iSNR hole' appears in the dynamic range. Thus ISO 15739 iSNR has gained extended utility: it not only measures the dynamic range limits but also defines dynamic range as the intensity range where detail detection is reliable. It has become a critical criterion when designing adaptive barrier control algorithms that maximize dynamic range while maintaining the minimum necessary level of detection reliability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 January 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7242, Image Quality and System Performance VI, 724209 (19 January 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.806063
Show Author Affiliations
Dirk Hertel, Sensata Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7242:
Image Quality and System Performance VI
Susan P. Farnand; Frans Gaykema, Editor(s)

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