THE EFFECT OF IMAGE ENHANCEMENT METHODS DURING FEATURE DETECTION AND MATCHING OF THERMAL IMAGES
Keywords: Feature Detection, Feature Extraction, Thermal Image, Matching, Photogrammetry, Image Processing
Abstract. A successful image matching is essential to provide an automatic photogrammetric process accurately. Feature detection, extraction and matching algorithms have performed on the high resolution images perfectly. However, images of cameras, which are equipped with low-resolution thermal sensors are problematic with the current algorithms. In this paper, some digital image processing techniques were applied to the low-resolution images taken with Optris PI 450 382 x 288 pixel optical resolution lightweight thermal camera to increase extraction and matching performance. Image enhancement methods that adjust low quality digital thermal images, were used to produce more suitable images for detection and extraction. Three main digital image process techniques: histogram equalization, high pass and low pass filters were considered to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, sharpen image, remove noise, respectively. Later on, the pre-processed images were evaluated using current image detection and feature extraction methods Maximally Stable Extremal Regions (MSER) and Speeded Up Robust Features (SURF) algorithms. Obtained results showed that some enhancement methods increased number of extracted features and decreased blunder errors during image matching. Consequently, the effects of different pre-process techniques were compared in the paper.