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Multispectral Bilateral Video Fusion

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3 Author(s)
Bennett, E.P. ; North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill, NC ; Mason, J.L. ; McMillan, L.

We present a technique for enhancing underexposed visible-spectrum video by fusing it with simultaneously captured video from sensors in nonvisible spectra, such as Short Wave IR or Near IR. Although IR sensors can accurately capture video in low-light and night-vision applications, they lack the color and relative luminances of visible-spectrum sensors. RGB sensors do capture color and correct relative luminances, but are underexposed, noisy, and lack fine features due to short video exposure times. Our enhanced fusion output is a reconstruction of the RGB input assisted by the IR data, not an incorporation of elements imaged only in IR. With a temporal noise reduction, we first remove shot noise and increase the color accuracy of the RGB footage. The IR video is then normalized to ensure cross-spectral compatibility with the visible-spectrum video using ratio images. To aid fusion, we decompose the video sources with edge-preserving filters. We introduce a multispectral version of the bilateral filter called the "dual bilateral" that robustly decomposes the RGB video. It utilizes the less-noisy IR for edge detection but also preserves strong visible-spectrum edges not in the IR. We fuse the RGB low frequencies, the IR texture details, and the dual bilateral edges into a noise-reduced video with sharp details, correct chrominances, and natural relative luminances

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 5 )