Machine Vision and Applications

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 175–186 | Cite as

Aircraft classification with a low resolution infrared sensor

  • Sidonie LefebvreEmail author
  • Stéphanie Allassonnière
  • Jérémie Jakubowicz
  • Thomas Lasne
  • Eric Moulines
Original Paper


Existing computer simulations of aircraft infrared signature (IRS) do not account for dispersion induced by uncertainty on input parameters, such as aircraft aspect angles and meteorological conditions. As a result, they are of little use to quantify the detection performance of IR optronic systems: in this case, the scenario encompasses a lot of possible situations that must indeed be considered, but cannot be individually simulated. In this paper, we focus on low resolution infrared sensors and we propose a methodological approach for predicting simulated IRS dispersion of an aircraft, and performing a classification of different aircraft on the resulting set of low resolution infrared images. It is based on a quasi-Monte Carlo survey of the code output dispersion, and on a maximum likelihood classification taking advantage of Bayesian dense deformable template models estimation. This method is illustrated in a typical scenario, i.e., a daylight air-to-ground full-frontal attack by a generic combat aircraft flying at low altitude, over a database of 30,000 simulated aircraft images. Assuming a spatially white noise background model, classification performance is very promising, and appears to be more accurate than more classical state of the art techniques (such as kernel-based support vector classifiers).


Infrared surveillance Aircraft classification Image processing Stochastic approximation Shapes statistics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidonie Lefebvre
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stéphanie Allassonnière
    • 2
  • Jérémie Jakubowicz
    • 3
  • Thomas Lasne
    • 1
  • Eric Moulines
    • 4
  1. 1.ONERA-The French Aerospace LabPalaiseauFrance
  2. 2.CMAP UMR 7641Ecole PolytechniquePalaiseau CedexFrance
  3. 3.RST, TelecomSudParisEvryFrance
  4. 4.LTCI, UMR 5141TelecomParisTechParisFrance

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