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SPIE Professional October 2013

TNO researchers awarded Kingslake Prize for night-vision images mapped in color

Photo of Alexander Toet The 2012 Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize has been awarded to Alexander Toet and Maarten Hogervorst of TNO Defence, Security, and Safety (Netherlands).

Toet, an SPIE Fellow, and Hogervorst, an SPIE Senior Member, are receiving the award for their open-access paper, “Progress in color night vision,” published in the January 2012 edition of Optical Engineering.

Photo of Maarten HogervorstThe annual prize is awarded for the journal’s most noteworthy original paper on theoretical or experimental aspects of optical engineering.

The winning paper presents an overview of Toet and Hogervorst’s progress in achieving both color constancy and computational simplicity by applying a statistical mapping approach in a color look-up-table framework. The paper also details current state-of-the-art techniques of color image fusion for night-vision applications.

“The sample-based color transfer method is specific for different types of materials in a scene and can be easily adapted for the intended operating theatre and the task at hand,” Toet and Hogervorst write in the article. The method “is highly suitable for real-time implementations,” the researchers say.

Tomasz Tkaczyk, chair of the Kingslake Award committee, said committee members were impressed with the “rigorous analysis of algorithms and imaging results” and the comparison of techniques. “It provides a comprehensive guide of color night vision methods to the optical community,” Tkaczyk said.

A figure from the Optical Engineering article shows two soldiers in a village. Researchers used various image processing techniques ranging from the visual night time image in the upper left (a) to the fused and recolored image in the lower right (f).

Toet, a senior researcher at TNO, received his PhD in physics from University of Utrecht (Netherlands) in 1987, where he worked on visual spatial localization (hyperacuity) and image processing. At TNO, he investigates multimodal image fusion, image quality, computational models of human visual search and detection, and the quantification of visual target distinctness.

Hogervorst is a research scientist at TNO where his current projects include visual information processing, electro-optical system performance, search and target acquisition modeling, image-quality assessment, image enhancement, information fusion, color imaging, EEG, and human factors of camera surveillance systems. He received his PhD in physics from University of Utrecht in 1996 for his work on visual perception.

The paper can be found in the SPIE Digital Library.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201310.21

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