Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Scientists Aid Law Enforcement With New Software Technology To Improve Video Quality

Date:
May 5, 1999
Source:
Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA scientists have invented promising, new software technology to help law enforcement agencies catch criminals by improving the analysis of crime scene video. Technology developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., already has been used to help the FBI improve video of the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Watch out, America's most wanted. NASA scientists have invented promising, new software technology to help law enforcement agencies catch criminals by improving the analysis of crime scene video. Technology developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., already has been used to help the FBI improve video of the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

NASA software clarified dark, nighttime videotape made with a handheld camcorder, revealing important details that had been obscured. The technology also may be useful for medical imaging, scientific applications and home video. A provisional patent has been filed, and the technology will soon be available for licensing. "This product has so many applications that will benefit the public -- from very technical to those almost anybody can use," said Paul Meyer, one of the technology's inventors at the Marshall Center.

Imagine a dark crime scene captured on videotape by a security system. The Video Image Stabilization and Registration (VISAR) software will eliminate flaws in the video, remove blurs and stabilize images.

With the NASA video stabilization system, the crime scene will appear as if the crime happened in daytime, giving law enforcement officers the capability to identify valuable clues for crime solving. "This NASA-developed technology has the potential to stabilize images so that criminals and other important clues can be identified, even in blurred images," said Dr. Arsev H. Eraslan -- the chief scientist of both the NASA National Technology Transfer Center and the Office of Law Enforcement Technology and Commercialization located in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Eraslan discussed the potential of the video stabilization technology with the NASA inventors at a recent National Technology Commercialization conference sponsored by the National Institute for Justice.

The Marshall-developed video stabilization system has many advantages over other systems being studied because it does more than just remove noise or "snow" from videos. It eliminates several problems often found in poorly recorded video. "It's like a video eraser," said Dr. David Hathaway, the technology's co-inventor at the Marshall Center. "It removes defects due to image jitter, image rotation and image zoom in video sequences.

"Hathaway, a Marshall solar physicist, has developed software to clarify video images of the Sun. His partner, Meyer, a Marshall atmospheric scientist, has refined image-processing techniques to analyze space launch video and to study meteorological images.

When the FBI asked NASA to help improve the quality of the Olympic bombing video, the Marshall scientists volunteered their expertise. "Our teamwork, with each of us coming from different disciplines, is what made the creation of this product possible," said Meyer.

The resulting Video Image Stabilization and Registration software stabilizes camera motion in the horizontal and vertical as well as rotation and zoom effects; produces clearer images of moving objects; smoothes jagged edges; enhances still images; and reduces video noise or "snow." Once NASA's new software improves the video quality, it is possible to use existing software to sharpen and "de-blur" images, thus further enhancing video clarity.

Hathaway and Meyer have produced sample videos showing how a blurry, "busy" video can be cleared up to reveal a person in a crowd, or how a jittery video can be enhanced, allowing a license plate to be read. "Once digital cameras become more affordable, it might even be practical to use the system inside video recorders to stabilize and enhance images as they are recorded," said Hathaway.

Using a video capture device with a computer, the software will improve home videos or merge real with animated images.

"This technology has the potential to become a part of many products -- from those used by everyday Americans, to those used by sophisticated security and video production companies," said Hathaway. NASA's Technology Transfer Office at the Marshall Center is helping Hathaway and Meyer patent their invention.

The office also is working to encourage companies to license the product and use it in commercial applications.

"Our role is to transfer NASA inventions and technologies to U.S. industries," said Sammy Nabors of Marshall's Technology Transfer Office. "This video stabilization technology is an example of how Americans' investments in NASA's space program are returned to Americans in the form of a new technology that will improve their lives."

The video improvement system invented by Marshall scientists is a good example of how NASA technology can be used to fight crime. For an upcoming study, the National Institute of Justice and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., have joined forces. They will explore how NASA's sophisticated spacecraft technology can be used remotely to identify everything from bodily fluids to gunpowder residue without disturbing crime scenes.

-30-

Note to Editors: For more information, photographs, or to arrange interviews, contact Ed Medal with Marshall’s Media Relations Office at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release, visit Marshall’s News Center Web site at:http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news

For more information on NASA's Technology Transfer Office, see: http://nasasolutions.com

To view a related story, please visit the Marshall Space Sciences Laboratory Web site at: http://www.science.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA Scientists Aid Law Enforcement With New Software Technology To Improve Video Quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990504153349.htm>.
Marshall Space Flight Center. (1999, May 5). NASA Scientists Aid Law Enforcement With New Software Technology To Improve Video Quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990504153349.htm
Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA Scientists Aid Law Enforcement With New Software Technology To Improve Video Quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990504153349.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) LG announces a round-faced smartwatch, Samsung adds 3G connectivity to its latest wearable, and Apple will reportedly announce the iWatch on Sept. 9. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Google has been developing a drone delivery system of its own, and it hopes to revolutionize how people view possessions with it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Apple Might Add Mobile Payment Options To iPhone 6

Why Apple Might Add Mobile Payment Options To iPhone 6

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) A report by Wired suggests Apple's next iPhone will feature a mobile payment system and near-field communication. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins