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30 June 1995 Color night vision: fusion of intensified visible and thermal IR imagery
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Abstract
We introduce an apparatus and methodology to support realtime color imaging for night operations. Registered imagery obtained in the visible through near IR band is combined with thermal IR imagery using principles of biological color vision. The visible imagery is obtained using a Gen III image intensifier tube optically coupled to a conventional CCD, while the thermal IR imagery is obtained using an uncooled thermal imaging array, the two fields of view being matched and imaged through a dichroic beam splitter. Remarkably realistic color renderings of night scenes are obtained, and examples are given in the paper. We also describe a compact integrated version of our system in the form of a color night vision device, in which the intensifier tube is replaced by a high resolution low-light sensitive CCD. Example CCD imagery obtained under starlight conditions is also shown. The system described here has the potential to support safe and efficient night flight, ground, sea and search & rescue operations, as well as night surveillance.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Allen M. Waxman, David A. Fay, Alan N. Gove, Michael Seibert, Joseph P. Racamato, James E. Carrick, and Eugene D. Savoye "Color night vision: fusion of intensified visible and thermal IR imagery", Proc. SPIE 2463, Synthetic Vision for Vehicle Guidance and Control, (30 June 1995); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.212755
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