Images taken in noncooperative environments do not always have targets under the same illumination conditions. There is a need for methods to detect targets independently of the illumination. We propose a technique that yields correlation peaks that are invariant under a linear intensity transformation of object intensity. The new locally adaptive contrast-invariant filter accomplishes this by combining three correlations in a nonlinear way. This method is not only intensity invariant but also has good discrimination and resistance to noise. We present simulation results for various intensity transformations with and without random and correlated noise. When the noise is high enough to threaten errors, the method trades off intensity invariance in order to achieve the optimum signal to noise ratio, and the peak to sidelobe ratio in the presence of clutter is always greater than one. In the presence of random disjoint noise, the signal to noise ratio is independent of the target contrast and of the level of the noise.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(070.0070) Fourier optics and signal processing : Fourier optics and signal processing
(070.4550) Fourier optics and signal processing : Correlators
(100.2000) Image processing : Digital image processing
(100.5010) Image processing : Pattern recognition
(150.2950) Machine vision : Illumination
Daniel Lefebvre, Henri H. Arsenault, Pascuala Garcia-Martinez, and Carlos Ferreira, "Recognition of Unsegmented Targets Invariant under Transformations of Intensity," Appl. Opt. 41, 6135-6142 (2002)