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Real time mitigation of atmospheric turbulence in long distance imaging using the lucky region fusion algorithm with FPGA and GPU hardware acceleration

Christopher Robert Jackson
University of Delaware
University of Delaware, 2015

@phdthesis{jackson2015real,

   title={Real time mitigation of atmospheric turbulence in long distance imaging using the lucky region fusion algorithm with FPGA and GPU hardware acceleration},

   author={Jackson, Christopher},

   year={2015},

   school={University of Delaware}

}

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"Lucky-region" fusion (LRF) is a synthetic imaging technique that has proven successful in enhancing the quality of images distorted by atmospheric turbulence. The LRF algorithm selects sharp regions of an image obtained from a series of short exposure frames, and fuses the sharp regions into a final, improved image. In previous research, the LRF algorithm had been implemented on a PC using the C programming language. However, the PC did not have sufficient sequential processing power to handle real-time extraction, processing and reduction required when the LRF algorithm was applied to real-time video from fast, high-resolution image sensors. This thesis describes two hardware implementations of the LRF algorithm to achieve real-time image processing. The first was created with a VIRTEX-7 field programmable gate array (FPGA). The other developed using the graphics processing unit (GPU) of a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 video card. The novelty in the FPGA approach is the creation of a "black box" LRF video processing system with a general camera link input, a user controller interface, and a camera link video output. We also describe a custom hardware simulation environment we have built to test the FPGA LRF implementation. The advantage of the GPU approach is significantly improved development time, integration of image stabilization into the system, and comparable atmospheric turbulence mitigation.
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