Images acquired by airborne infrared search and track (IRST) systems are often characterized by nonuniform noise. In this paper, a scene-based nonuniformity correction method for infrared focal-plane arrays (FPAs) is proposed based on the constant statistics of the received radiation ratios of adjacent pixels. The gain of each pixel is computed recursively based on the ratios between adjacent pixels, which are estimated through a median operation. Then, an elaborate mathematical model describing the error propagation, derived from random noise and the recursive calculation procedure, is established. The proposed method maintains the characteristics of traditional methods in calibrating the whole electro-optics chain, in compensating for temporal drifts, and in not preserving the radiometric accuracy of the system. Moreover, the proposed method is robust since the frame number is the only variant, and is suitable for real-time applications owing to its low computational complexity and simplicity of implementation. The experimental results, on different scenes from a proof-of-concept point target detection system with a long-wave Sofradir FPA, demonstrate the compelling performance of the proposed method.
© 2017 Optical Society of America
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