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We cascade an existing image coder with carefully chosen error control coding, and thus produce a progressive image compression scheme whose performance on a noisy channel is significantly better than that of previously known techniques. The main idea is to trade off the available transmission rate between source coding and channel coding in an efficient manner. This coding system is easy to implement and has acceptably low complexity. Furthermore, effectively no degradation due to channel noise can be detected; instead, the penalty paid due to channel noise is a reduction in source coding resolution. Detailed numerical comparisons are given that can serve as benchmarks for comparisons with future encoding schemes. For example, for the 512/spl times/512 Lena image, at a transmission rate of 1 b/pixel, and for binary symmetric channels with bit error probabilities 10/sup -3/, 10/sup -2/, and 10/sup -1/, the proposed system outperforms previously reported results by at least 2.6, 2.8, and 8.9 dB, respectively.