When I first read this story last night, I thought, "Whatever company answers the call, whether it works or not, is bound to make a killing." Also, I'll be interested to see the conclusion of their study.
Are you kidding? Two things.
1. Beijing's solution to their smog problem should not be better cameras, but to clean up their pollution.
2. I still question Beijing's definition of terrorist more than I do the US.
I know those can be considerd political orientated comments, but seriously, what are they going to film if they get special "smog" cameras but video of people keeling over in the streets.
There's a significant body of research associated with enhancing visibility through a scattering medium, often involving coprocessing outputs from multiple cameras that are independently observing the same scene. Could be promising for integrators and manufacturers alike... .
What ever became of the Pentax PAIR technology? Seems ideal for this.
It would be helpful to know the size of the dropplet (scattering medium). Presumably it's bigger than water, which is typicaly 10 - 15 microns. That would I think explain why the article states conventional long wave IR imagers at 10 - 12 microns aren't effective. It would seem the imaging system would need to operate at wavelenghts larger than 15 microns. That's a tough one, as I don't think there is much unitl one hits the millimeter wave devices. I suppose for detection an active mmW should be fine, but can't really be considered an imager in the surveillance context.
Smog has always been there like in Mexico City, L.A. and a lot of other big cities. How about fog, that is a problem too with some U.S. cities no? But like H. Lassell said expensive...lucrative is the name of the game.
For example, "Seeing through biological tissues using the fly eye principle" is a seminal work showing how integration multiple images from many independent imaging channels can enable one to see general objects hidden behind scattering layers.
More recent efforts investigate mechanisms to see through tissue (a scattering medium) using a variety of mechanisms including microlens arrays. It seems that medical noninvasive imaging applications might be a little less cost sensitive than some surveillance applications can be.
Btw, there are a few existing surveillance products that claim to deal with fog, if not smog, similar to Hal's example of Microsoft's Image Composite Editor.
See Lyyn Griffin and IMINT Vidhance. Both work in real time and both are really expensive (thousands per channel).
PS, this whole article / story reads like an Onion skit.
IPVMU Certified | 11/08/13 01:07pm
Those are pretty interesting concepts. I'm going to download and play with that Microsoft ICE- that's waht so cool about discussion groups, no matter how much you know or think you know you learn about something new and possibly useful all the time.
My company, Pixon Imaging, sells video processors that are designed to see through fog. And yes, smog can act very differently than water droplets. Now I cannot comment of the work that the "Chinese experts" are working on since I am not privy to this information. However to perform a true solution to this problem in a practical, real-time solution is next to impossible. The individual properties of the particle affect their scattering and sbsorption properties, and these change. The particle size distribution affects the net optical properties, and these change. The angle of illumination affects the scattering properties, and these always change, and if there are multiple, changing sources of illumination, how can one keep up? What is needed is a practical, "good-enough" solution. In otherwords a compromise must be struck and one shouldn't bite off too big a piece of the puzzle. Simplifying assumption need to be made as we do in our products. Indeed, we have applied our algorithms to smoggy pictures and they help significantly even though they are not tunned specifically for smog (they are general purpose). Of course with 3 meter visibility, one will never see the mountains, but we generally claim that our products give useful video at 2 to 3x the distance one could see without using them.
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