A fundamental task when performing target detection on spectral imagery is ensuring that a target signature is in the same metric domain as the measured spectral data set. Remotely sensed data are typically collected in digital counts and calibrated to radiance. That is, calibrated data have units of spectral radiance, while target signatures in the visible regime are commonly characterized in units of re°ectance. A necessary precursor to running a target detection algorithm is converting the measured scene data and target signature to the same domain. Atmospheric inversion or compensation is a well-known method for transforming mea- sured scene radiance values into the re°ectance domain. While this method may be math- ematically trivial, it is computationally attractive and is most e®ective when illumination conditions are constant across a scene. However, when illumination conditions are not con- stant for a given scene, signi¯cant error may be introduced when applying the same linear inversion globally. In contrast to the inversion methodology, physics-based forward modeling approaches aim to predict the possible ways that a target might appear in a scene using atmospheric and radiometric models. To fully encompass possible target variability due to changing illumination levels, a target vector space is created. In addition to accounting for varying illumination, physics-based model approaches have a distinct advantage in that they can also incorporate target variability due to a variety of other sources, to include adjacency target orientation, and mixed pixels. Increasing the variability of the target vector space may be beneficial in a global sense in that it may allow for the detection of difficult targets, such as shadowed or partially concealed targets. However, it should also be noted that expansion of the target space may introduce unnecessary confusion for a given pixel. Furthermore, traditional physics-based approaches make certain assumptions which may be prudent only when passive, spectral data for a scene are available. Common examples include the assumption of a °at ground plane and pure target pixels. Many of these assumptions may be attributed to the lack of three-dimensional (3D) spatial information for the scene. In the event that 3D spatial information were available, certain assumptions could be levied, allowing accurate geometric information to be fed to the physics-based model on a pixel- by-pixel basis. Doing so may e®ectively constrain the physics-based model, resulting in a pixel-specific target space with optimized variability and minimized confusion. This body of work explores using spatial information from a topographic Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) system as a means to enhance the delity of physics-based models for spectral target detection. The incorporation of subpixel spatial information, relative to a hyperspectral image (HSI) pixel, provides valuable insight about plausible geometric con¯gurations of a target, background, and illumination sources within a scene. Methods for estimating local geometry on a per-pixel basis are introduced; this spatial information is then fed into a physics-based model to the forward prediction of a target in radiance space. The target detection performance based on this spatially-enhanced, spectral target space is assessed relative to current state-of-the-art spectral algorithms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Optical radar--Data processing; Optical data processing; Image processing--Digital techniques; Remote sensing--Data processing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Messinger, David

Advisor/Committee Member

Ientilucci, Emmett

Advisor/Committee Member

Salvaggio, Carl


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