Abstract

During the process of microscanning a controlled vibrating mirror typically is used to produce subpixel shifts in a sequence of forward-looking infrared (FLIR) images. If the FLIR is mounted on a moving platform, such as an aircraft, uncontrolled random vibrations associated with the platform can be used to generate the shifts. Iterative techniques such as the expectation-maximization (EM) approach by means of the maximum-likelihood algorithm can be used to generate high-resolution images from multiple randomly shifted aliased frames. In the maximum-likelihood approach the data are considered to be Poisson random variables and an EM algorithm is developed that iteratively estimates an unaliased image that is compensated for known imager-system blur while it simultaneously estimates the translational shifts. Although this algorithm yields high-resolution images from a sequence of randomly shifted frames, it requires significant computation time and cannot be implemented for real-time applications that use the currently available high-performance processors. The new image shifts are iteratively calculated by evaluation of a cost function that compares the shifted and interlaced data frames with the corresponding values in the algorithm’s latest estimate of the high-resolution image. We present a registration algorithm that estimates the shifts in one step. The shift parameters provided by the new algorithm are accurate enough to eliminate the need for iterative recalculation of translational shifts. Using this shift information, we apply a simplified version of the EM algorithm to estimate a high-resolution image from a given sequence of video frames. The proposed modified EM algorithm has been found to reduce significantly the computational burden when compared with the original EM algorithm, thus making it more attractive for practical implementation. Both simulation and experimental results are presented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed technique.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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