Quantifying Image Enhancement


Image quality is important for both human-in-the-loop and automated analysis tasks. Operators, analysts, and decision makers require the maximum amount of actionable information possible to effectively execute their missions. ATCOM image enhancement technology can be used to improve the quality of this imagery for both real-time and post-processing use cases.


While qualitative improvements can be shown, measuring quantifiable metrics is also valuable to project performance across use cases. Such information can demonstrate the amount of enhancement one can expect across operational scenarios to determine if a particular mission can now be completed thanks to additional intelligence.


Using data collected by EM Photonics and our partners, we have measured the improvement provide by ATCOM in a variety of scenarios using bar and radial resolution targets. Aerial imagery of ground targets (~9 km distance) shows that ATCOM helps the operator see fine features and resolve additional details that were otherwise lost due to atmospheric turbulence. The sharp transitions on graphs show considerable improvement to contrast and resolution after enhancing the imagery with ATCOM.


Using radial targets, we can calculate the effective modulation transfer function (MTF) of the imaging system, including environmental conditions between the sensor and the subject. By comparing effective MTFs before and after processing, we can quantify the improvement provided by ATCOM.