Target identification performance as a function of low spatial frequency image content

Ronald G. Driggers, Richard H. Vollmerhausen, Keith Krapels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Current imaging system performance models use either the minimum resolvable temperature difference or the minimum resolvable contrast concepts to predict target identification performance. Both of these performance functions describe the limiting frequency that can be viewed through the imaging system at a particular contrast. No credit is given to the system for the amount of low frequency (lower than the limiting frequency) information that is passed through the system. We determine whether the low spatial frequency information is important in the target identification task. Previous experiments show that no degradation is seen on character recognition if a high-pass, edge enhancing filter is applied to character images. This is not the case in target identification performance, where the targets of interest are military tanks. A number of filters (six levels of blur at four bandwidth configurations) are applied to tank imagery including high-pass filters to reduce the low frequency image content. A perception experiment is performed to determine whether target identification performance was degraded with a reduced amount of low spatial frequency image content. The probability of target identification is calculated from the observer responses and the identification performance is evaluated as a function of low spatial frequency image content. Low frequency information is shown to contribute to the overall system performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2458-2462
Number of pages5
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Engineering


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