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A novel approach to multiresolution signal-level image fusion is presented for accurately transferring visual information from any number of input image signals, into a single fused image without loss of information or the introduction of distortion. The proposed system uses a "fuse-then-decompose" technique realized through a novel, fusion/decomposition system architecture. In particular, information fusion is performed on a multiresolution gradient map representation domain of image signal information. At each resolution, input images are represented as gradient maps and combined to produce new, fused gradient maps. Fused gradient map signals are processed, using gradient filters derived from high-pass quadrature mirror filters to yield a fused multiresolution pyramid representation. The fused output image is obtained by applying, on the fused pyramid, a reconstruction process that is analogous to that of conventional discrete wavelet transform. This new gradient fusion significantly reduces the amount of distortion artefacts and the loss of contrast information usually observed in fused images obtained from conventional multiresolution fusion schemes. This is because fusion in the gradient map domain significantly improves the reliability of the feature selection and information fusion processes. Fusion performance is evaluated through informal visual inspection and subjective psychometric preference tests, as well as objective fusion performance measurements. Results clearly demonstrate the superiority of this new approach when compared to conventional fusion systems.