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During the past few years several monochromeimage transform-coding systems have been developed. In these systems, a quantized and coded version of a spatial unitary transform of an image is transmitted over a channel, rather than an image itself. In this paper the transform-coding concept has been applied to the coding of color images represented by three primary color planes of data. The principles of spatial transform coding are reviewed and the merits of various methods of color-image representation are discussed. A performance analysis is presented for the color-image transform-coding system. Results of a computer simulation of the coding system are also given. It is shown that, by transform coding, the chrominance content of a color image can be coded with an average of 1.0 bits per element or less without serious degradation. If luminance coding is also employed, the average rate reduces to about 2.0 bits per element or less.