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Some radar image processing algorithms such as shape-from-shading are particularly compute-intensive and time-consuming. If, in addition, a data set to be processed is large, then it may make sense to perform the processing of images on multiple workstations or parallel processing systems. We have implemented shape-from-shading, stereo matching, resampling, gridding, and visualization of terrain models in such a manner that they execute either on parallel machines or on clusters of workstations. We were motivated by the large image data set from NASA's Magellan mission to planet Venus, but received additional inspiration from the European Union's Center for Earth Observation program (CEO) and Austria's MISSION initiative for distributed processing of remote sensing images on remote workstations, using publicly-accessible algorithms. We developed a multi-processor approach that we denote as CDIP for Concurrent and Distributed Image Processing. The speedup for image processing tasks increases nearly linearly with the number of processors, be they on a parallel machine or arranged in a cluster of distributed workstations. Our approach adds benefits for users of complex image processing algorithms: the efforts for code porting and code maintenance are reduced and the necessity for specialized parallel processing hardware is eliminated.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2009