Spatio-temporal Hotelling observer for signal detection from image sequences

Luca Caucci, Harrison H. Barrett, Jeffrey J. Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Detection of signals in noisy images is necessary in many applications, including astronomy and medical imaging. The optimal linear observer for performing a detection task, called the Hotelling observer in the medical literature, can be regarded as a generalization of the familiar prewhitening matched filter. Performance on the detection task is limited by randomness in the image data, which stems from randomness in the object, randomness in the imaging system, and randomness in the detector outputs due to photon and readout noise, and the Hotelling observer accounts for all of these effects in an optimal way. If multiple temporal frames of images are acquired, the resulting data set is a spatio-temporal random process, and the Hotelling observer becomes a spatio-temporal linear operator. This paper discusses the theory of the spatio-temporal Hotelling observer and estimation of the required spatio-temporal covariance matrices. It also presents a parallel implementation of the observer on a cluster of Sony PLAYSTATION 3 gaming consoles. As an example, we consider the use of the spatio-temporal Hotelling observer for exoplanet detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10946-10958
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 22 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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