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Embedded video rate super-resolution in the infrared with a low-cost multi-aperture camera

Roi Méndez-Rial, Álvaro Souto López, Antón García-Díaz

We present an embedded imaging approach based on low cost sensors that span a long spectral range in the infrared. A system has been implemented with 12 apertures that combine unique uncooled FPAs in the mid infrared domain -2 to 5 microns wavelength- with very low cost microbolometers in the thermal infrared -7 to 14 microns wavelength-. Both FPA technologies are uncooled and low cost, manufactured as monolithic devices. The system is made of two modules, one LWIR, other MWIR. Each module has a system-on-chip GPU/ARM board that carries out all the image processing required for image reconstruction. This includes the calibration of the system, the registration of the images acquired with the many apertures, and the reconstruction of the super resolved image. Besides, the board performs all the operations and transformations required for noise correction. The output of each of the modules is a video stream at 30 frames per second. Each frame is a super resolved image with a resolution 2.5x compared to the images acquired by the FPAs used. Furthermore, the modules may be integrated and the acquired images combined in a single one in the embedded processing boards. Moreover, the boards may also combine and fuse this output with a visible range video stream. The use of low cost FPAs facilitates the deployment in a broad range of applications that an benefit from imaging in the infrared, particularly in the MWIR range in which existing commercial cameras based on hybrid technology are very expensive. The system is being tested in different applications, including surveillance in variable lighting conditions and monitoring in firefighting scenarios.