ITLApplied  Computational Mathematics Division
MCSD Highlights
Attractive Image NIST

MCSD Research on Image Enhancement Featured on SPIE Journal Cover

November 2006

The work of an MCSD mathematician on the enhancement of Hubble space telescope imagery is featured on the cover of the October 2006 issue of Optical Engineering, the flagship research journal of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). Included in this issue is the paper "APEX blind deconvolution of color Hubble space telescope imagery and other astronomical data," by Alfred Carasso of the NIST Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division. Carasso's APEX method is a technique for real-time blind deconvolution of imagery (i.e., deblurring). It is blind in that the point-spread function (psf) causing the blur is not known a priori. The psf is taken from a class of 2-D radially symmetric, bell-shaped, heavy-tailed, probability density functions whose parameters are estimated automatically through an analysis of the image itself. Once the psf is determined, the deconvolution proceeds by marching a diffusion equation backwards in time (via the SECB method, also developed at NIST). The method relies on fast Fourier transforms as its computational kernel, and hence is highly efficient, even for 1024x1024 color images. The APEX method has been demonstrated to be effective on a wide range of imagery, including medical images and scanning electron microscope images. This paper represents its first application to color imagery and to astronomical data. The paper includes many striking enhancements of Hubble and Kitt peak Observatory images, one example of which is displayed on the journal's cover.

Andromeda gallaxy image (left) is enhanced by APEX processing (right).
APEX processing significantly sharpens Andromeda galaxy image (right). True color 1024x1024 original (left) was obtained by Rector and Wolpa at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.

(bullet) Alfred S. Carasso (NIST/MCSD/MMG)
See also:
(bullet) The paper.

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | FOIA
NIST is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.
Last updated: 2011-01-12.