Accession Number:



Research@ARL. Imaging & Image Processing. Volume 3, Issue 1

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Today cameras are ubiquitous. In addition to capturing special moments with family and friends, they monitor traffic and they monitor us in public places. They provide a full visual field as we back up our cars. We can even swallow a pill-sized camera to image our intestinal tract. Cameras are so widely used that 48 hours of video data are uploaded to YouTube every minute.1 Through advancements in optics and photodetectors, cameras are now commodities. Further, the proximity of cameras to processing chips in smartphone platforms is driving an explosion in imaging applications. The U.S. military has been a significant but unheralded contributor to this revolution through its development of lightweight, small-scale optics, high-pixel-count focal-plane arrays, and algorithms for pattern recognition. Further, nearly 50 years ago, predecessor organizations to the U.S. Army Research Laboratory ARL developed image intensifiers and infrared imaging systems to own the night. First deployed in small numbers to soldiers in Vietnam, the prevalence of these technologies in military units during Desert Storm gave the U.S. a strategic advantage. Today, ARL researchers are building on this heritage to alter the concept of imaging itself. For many years, one created a camera by combining optics to form an image with a detector to capture it more recently, one uses post-detection processing to enhance it. When viewed as a whole, however, it is possible to spread the process of image formation across all three elements optics, detectors, and signal processing. Doing so has allowed ARL researchers to develop imaging capabilities that are not possible under the old paradigm. This volume presents some of those capabilities, as well as other contributions made by ARL researchers to imaging and image processing, and this introduction provides context for ARL s research investment in these areas.

Subject Categories:

  • Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices
  • Cybernetics

Distribution Statement: