Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 185–201 | Cite as

A Linear Systems Approach to Imaging Through Turbulence

  • Mario MicheliEmail author
  • Yifei Lou
  • Stefano Soatto
  • Andrea L. Bertozzi


In this paper we address the problem of recovering an image from a sequence of distorted versions of it, where the distortion is caused by what is commonly referred to as ground-level turbulence. In mathematical terms, such distortion can be described as the cumulative effect of a blurring kernel and a time-dependent deformation of the image domain. We introduce a statistical dynamic model for the generation of turbulence based on linear dynamical systems (LDS). We expand the model to include the unknown image as part of the unobserved state and apply Kalman filtering to estimate such state. This operation yields a blurry image where the blurring kernel is effectively isoplanatic. Applying blind nonlocal Total Variation (NL-TV) deconvolution yields a sharp final result.


Image processing Atmospheric turbulence Deblurring Kalman filter 



Mario Micheli’s research was partially supported by ONR grant N000140910256. Yifei Lou and Andrea Bertozzi were partially supported by ONR grants N00014101022, N000141210040 and by NSF grants DMS-0914856, DMS-1118971. Stefano Soatto was partially supported by ONR grant N0001411100863. The authors would like to thank Dr. Alan Van Nevel at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center (China Lake, California) for providing the image data. We are also deeply grateful to Stanley Osher and Jérôme Gilles of UCLA, and to Angelo Cenedese of Università di Padova (Italy) for the insightful discussions on the topic. We would also like to thank Xiaoqun Zhang, formerly at UCLA and now at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, for providing the nonlocal Total Variation (NL-TV) deconvolution Matlab code.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Micheli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yifei Lou
    • 2
  • Stefano Soatto
    • 3
  • Andrea L. Bertozzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringGeorgia Inst. of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUCLALos AngelesUSA

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