Super-Resolution Enhancement From Multiple Overlapping Images: A Fractional Area Technique
AuthorMichaels, Joshua A.
AdvisorCarr, James R
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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With the availability of large quantities of relatively low-resolution data from several decades of space borne imaging, methods of creating an accurate, higherresolution image from the multiple lower- resolution images (i.e. super-resolution), have been developed almost since such imagery has been around. The fractional-area superresolution technique developed in this thesis has never before been documented. Satellite orbits, like Landsat, have a quantifiable variation, which means each image is not centered on the exact same spot more than once and the overlapping information from these multiple images may be used for super-resolution enhancement. By splitting a single initial pixel into many smaller, desired pixels, a relationship can be created between them using the ratio of the area within the initial pixel. The ideal goal for this technique is to obtain smaller pixels with exact values and no error, yielding a better potential result than those methods that yield interpolated pixel values with consequential loss of spatial resolution. A Fortran 95 program was developed to perform all calculations associated with the fractional-area super-resolution technique. The fractional areas are calculated using traditional trigonometry and coordinate geometry and Linear Algebra Package (LAPACK; Anderson et al., 1999) is used to solve for the higher-resolution pixel values. In order to demonstrate proof-of-concept, a synthetic dataset was created using the intrinsic Fortran random number generator and Adobe Illustrator CS4 (for geometry). To test the real-life application, digital pictures from a Sony DSC-S600 digital point-and-shoot camera with a tripod were taken of a large US geological map under fluorescent lighting. While the fractional-area super-resolution technique works in perfect synthetic conditions, it did not successfully produce a reasonable or consistent solution in the digital photograph enhancement test. The prohibitive amount of processing time (up to 60 days for a relatively small enhancement area) severely limits the practical usefulness of fraction-area super-resolution. Fractional-area super-resolution is very sensitive to relative input image co-registration, which must be accurate to a sub-pixel degree. However, use of this technique, if input conditions permit, could be applied as a "pinpoint" super-resolution technique. Such an application could be possible by only applying it to only very small areas with very good input image coregistration.