Abstract

Computational complexity is a major impediment to the real-time implementation of image restoration and superresolution algorithms in many applications. Although powerful restoration algorithms have been developed within the past few years utilizing sophisticated mathematical machinery (based on statistical optimization and convex set theory), these algorithms are typically iterative in nature and require a sufficient number of iterations to be executed to achieve the desired resolution improvement that may be needed to meaningfully perform postprocessing image exploitation tasks in practice. Additionally, recent technological breakthroughs have facilitated novel sensor designs (focal plane arrays, for instance) that make it possible to capture megapixel imagery data at video frame rates. A major challenge in the processing of these large-format images is to complete the execution of the image processing steps within the frame capture times and to keep up with the output rate of the sensor so that all data captured by the sensor can be efficiently utilized. Consequently, development of novel methods that facilitate real-time implementation of image restoration and superresolution algorithms is of significant practical interest and is the primary focus of this study. The key to designing computationally efficient processing schemes lies in strategically introducing appropriate preprocessing steps together with the superresolution iterations to tailor optimized overall processing sequences for imagery data of specific formats. For substantiating this assertion, three distinct methods for tailoring a preprocessing filter and integrating it with the superresolution processing steps are outlined. These methods consist of a region-of-interest extraction scheme, a background-detail separation procedure, and a scene-derived information extraction step for implementing a set-theoretic restoration of the image that is less demanding in computation compared with the superresolution iterations. A quantitative evaluation of the performance of these algorithms for restoring and superresolving various imagery data captured by diffraction-limited sensing operations are also presented.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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