High-resolution restoration of images distorted by the atmosphere, based on an average atmospheric modulation transfer function Academic Article uri icon


  • A new method of real-time high-resolution imaging through the atmosphere is presented. This technique is based on knowledge of average atmospheric modulation transfer function (MTF) at the time the image is received. Atmospheric effects are modeled by a noisy spatial frequency filter including an average component described by the average atmospheric MTF and a noisy component modeled by the atmospheric point spread function's power spectral density. The noisy component represents random changes in the atmospheric MTF. Analytical results are accompanied by experimental image restoration examples, indicating significant image quality improvement based on knowledge of average atmospheric MTF, which includes both turbulence and aerosol MTF components. This method can be used to help overcome the jitter characteristics of turbulence, and is capable of yielding real-time image restoration with resolution limited essentially only by the hardware itself. Turbulence blur, aerosol blur, and contrast degradation are all corrected simultaneously, unlike adaptive optics, which corrects for turbulence only.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995