Abstract

In underwater range-gated imaging (URGI), enhancement of low-brightness and low-contrast images is critical for human observation. Traditional histogram equalizations over-enhance images, with the result of details being lost. To compress over-enhancement, a lower-upper-threshold correlation method is proposed for underwater range-gated imaging self-adaptive enhancement based on double-plateau histogram equalization. The lower threshold determines image details and compresses over-enhancement. It is correlated with the upper threshold. First, the upper threshold is updated by searching for the local maximum in real time, and then the lower threshold is calculated by the upper threshold and the number of nonzero units selected from a filtered histogram. With this method, the backgrounds of underwater images are constrained with enhanced details. Finally, the proof experiments are performed. Peak signal-to-noise-ratio, variance, contrast, and human visual properties are used to evaluate the objective quality of the global and regions of interest images. The evaluation results demonstrate that the proposed method adaptively selects the proper upper and lower thresholds under different conditions. The proposed method contributes to URGI with effective image enhancement for human eyes.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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