Situation Assessment-Based Video Enhancement Agent

Period of Performance: 10/25/2000 - 04/25/2001

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Charles River Analytics, Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The ability to autonomously enhance low-quality or corrupted streaming video data is essential in a number of important defense and civilian scenarios. In military applications, the need to enhance and clean-up corrupted video signal is crucial for operator-assisted or autonomous terminal guidance of missiles. Quality of video also affects critical decision-making in civilian applications ranging from security to remotely-controlled surgical procedures. The entertainment sector also demands high-quality imaging despite low-quality cameras (e.g. web-cam) and under adverse lighting conditions.In spite of the apparent need for video enhancement techniques, progress has been limited to either human-assisted video clean-up or to very specific types of automatic video correction (e.g. contrast enhancement). We propose to design and develop an autonomous situation assessment-based video enhancement agent. This agent will control the selection of specific video enhancement algorithm sequences and their parameters based on image stream and contextual information. The pool of image enhancement operators will include both frequency and spatial domain techniques, while image-based control information will be derived via localized feature extraction. The prototype suite of software algorithms and the autonomous control agent will run on a commercial, off-the-shelf embedded platform with a dedicated vision processor.Government and commercial applications that rely on the quality of video streams range from police work and surveillance to the medical and entertainment field. In all of these applications autonomous image enhancement would have an immediate and measurable impact on the successful task completion or quality of data presentation. Hence, the proposed software/hardware architecture has direct commercial potential in these markets.