A method for simulating sea surface images obtained by forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensors in the 8–12-μm band, which can be readily implemented on a computer, has been developed. The model consists of a bottom-up process based on oceanographic models of sea waves and radiometric properties of sky and sea. The clutter which is generated by sea surface roughness and nonuniformity of sky radiation has been found to be a Gaussian homogeneous random process, under reasonable assumptions. The variance of this process as well as its spatial correlation has been investigated. The value of the method as a synthetic image generator and the application of the results to FLIR image processing are discussed.
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