Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) have developed a real-time ‘dehazing’ technology that promises to allow increased visibility in hazy/foggy weather conditions to the Indian Railways.
Dehazing is an image enhancement technique. The new method, that potentially solves a major problem faced by the railways, thus ensuring timely and accident-free running of trains during dense fogs, has been developed at the Computer Vision Lab by Saumik Bhattacharya and Himanshu Kumar. These former PhD students worked under the guidance of Dr K S Venkatesh and Dr Sumana Gupta, at the IIT-K Department of Electrical Engineering.
The existing dehazing methods increase the contrast of an image, but remove many details of structural information after processing. Such methods also introduce severe colour range suppression in the processed image and show a drop in performance in conditions of dense fog. The team has already applied for the patent of the new technology.
The IIT-K researchers observed after comparing the time lapse with other methods that the new method provided speed approximately 6 times faster than existing methods in commodity hardware. Besides, unlike certain multispectral solutions available in the market that are quite expensive, the new technology is low cost.
The new dehazing technology is touted to be critical in vision-assisted vehicle navigation in hazy/foggy weather, surveillance in bad weather conditions, besides playing a role in aviation, biomedical processes like MRI and CT scan, and computer vision applications too.