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13 May 2010 Sensor fusion to enable next generation low cost Night Vision systems
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The next generation of automotive Night Vision Enhancement systems offers automatic pedestrian recognition with a performance beyond current Night Vision systems at a lower cost. This will allow high market penetration, covering the luxury as well as compact car segments. Improved performance can be achieved by fusing a Far Infrared (FIR) sensor with a Near Infrared (NIR) sensor. However, fusing with today's FIR systems will be too costly to get a high market penetration. The main cost drivers of the FIR system are its resolution and its sensitivity. Sensor cost is largely determined by sensor die size. Fewer and smaller pixels will reduce die size but also resolution and sensitivity. Sensitivity limits are mainly determined by inclement weather performance. Sensitivity requirements should be matched to the possibilities of low cost FIR optics, especially implications of molding of highly complex optical surfaces. As a FIR sensor specified for fusion can have lower resolution as well as lower sensitivity, fusing FIR and NIR can solve performance and cost problems. To allow compensation of FIR-sensor degradation on the pedestrian detection capabilities, a fusion approach called MultiSensorBoosting is presented that produces a classifier holding highly discriminative sub-pixel features from both sensors at once. The algorithm is applied on data with different resolution and on data obtained from cameras with varying optics to incorporate various sensor sensitivities. As it is not feasible to record representative data with all different sensor configurations, transformation routines on existing high resolution data recorded with high sensitivity cameras are investigated in order to determine the effects of lower resolution and lower sensitivity to the overall detection performance. This paper also gives an overview of the first results showing that a reduction of FIR sensor resolution can be compensated using fusion techniques and a reduction of sensitivity can be compensated.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
R. Schweiger, S. Franz, O. Löhlein, W. Ritter, J.-E. Källhammer, J. Franks, and T. Krekels "Sensor fusion to enable next generation low cost Night Vision systems", Proc. SPIE 7726, Optical Sensing and Detection, 772610 (13 May 2010);

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