Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Michael C Roggemann


Atmospheric turbulence near the ground severely limits the quality of imagery acquired over long horizontal paths. In defense, surveillance, and border security applications, there is interest in deploying man-portable, embedded systems incorporating image reconstruction methods to compensate turbulence effects. While many image reconstruction methods have been proposed, their suitability for use in man-portable embedded systems is uncertain. To be effective, these systems must operate over significant variations in turbulence conditions while subject to other variations due to operation by novice users. Systems that meet these requirements and are otherwise designed to be immune to the factors that cause variation in performance are considered robust. In addition robustness in design, the portable nature of these systems implies a preference for systems with a minimum level of computational complexity.

Speckle imaging methods have recently been proposed as being well suited for use in man-portable horizontal imagers. In this work, the robustness of speckle imaging methods is established by identifying a subset of design parameters that provide immunity to the expected variations in operating conditions while minimizing the computation time necessary for image recovery. Design parameters are selected by parametric evaluation of system performance as factors external to the system are varied. The precise control necessary for such an evaluation is made possible using image sets of turbulence degraded imagery developed using a novel technique for simulating anisoplanatic image formation over long horizontal paths. System performance is statistically evaluated over multiple reconstruction using the Mean Squared Error (MSE) to evaluate reconstruction quality. In addition to more general design parameters, the relative performance the bispectrum and the Knox-Thompson phase recovery methods is also compared.

As an outcome of this work it can be concluded that speckle-imaging techniques are robust to the variation in turbulence conditions and user controlled parameters expected when operating during the day over long horizontal paths. Speckle imaging systems that incorporate 15 or more image frames and 4 estimates of the object phase per reconstruction provide up to 45% reduction in MSE and 68% reduction in the deviation. In addition, Knox-Thompson phase recover method is shown to produce images in half the time required by the bispectrum. The quality of images reconstructed using Knox-Thompson and bispectrum methods are also found to be nearly identical. Finally, it is shown that certain blind image quality metrics can be used in place of the MSE to evaluate quality in field scenarios. Using blind metrics rather depending on user estimates allows for reconstruction quality that differs from the minimum MSE by as little as 1%, significantly reducing the deviation in performance due to user action.