Target detection threshold in noisy color imagery

Ronald G. Driggers, Keith Krapels, Rich Vollmerhausen, Penny Warren, Dean Scribner, Grant Howard, Brian H. Tsou, William K. Krebs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Current target acquisition models are for monochrome imagery systems (single detector). The increasing interest in multi-spectral infrared systems and color daylight imagers highlights the need for models that describe the target acquisition process for color systems (2 or more detectors). This study investigates the detection of simple color targets in a noisy color background. Color targets are varied separately either in hue or saturation. Noise is created with a mixture of random hue and saturation combinations. Our preliminary result showed a simple two-color (yellow-blue) representation did not improve the standard black-and-white Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference sensitivity. Subsequent psychophysical experiments reveal that human hue and saturation discriminations interact (the Abney effect) and need to be separated in color target detection modeling. Research is continuing to better define the mathematical relationship between the target acquisition parameters (e.g., temperature difference or intensity contrast) and the color space of hue and saturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Color
  • Modeling
  • Target Acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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