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Optical Engineering


We present a block-matching and Wiener filtering approach to atmospheric turbulence mitigation for long-range imaging of extended scenes. We evaluate the proposed method, along with some benchmark methods, using simulated and real-image sequences. The simulated data are generated with a simulation tool developed by one of the authors. These data provide objective truth and allow for quantitative error analysis. The proposed turbulence mitigation method takes a sequence of short-exposure frames of a static scene and outputs a single restored image. A block-matching registration algorithm is used to provide geometric correction for each of the individual input frames. The registered frames are then averaged, and the average image is processed with a Wiener filter to provide deconvolution. An important aspect of the proposed method lies in how we model the degradation point spread function (PSF) for the purposes of Wiener filtering. We use a parametric model that takes into account the level of geometric correction achieved during image registration. This is unlike any method we are aware of in the literature. By matching the PSF to the level of registration in this way, the Wiener filter is able to fully exploit the reduced blurring achieved by registration. We also describe a method for estimating the atmospheric coherence diameter (or Fried parameter) from the estimated motion vectors. We provide a detailed performance analysis that illustrates how the key tuning parameters impact system performance. The proposed method is relatively simple computationally, yet it has excellent performance in comparison with state-of-the-art benchmark methods in our study.

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This article was published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.







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atmospheric turbulence mitigation, block matching, Wiener filtering