Sensitivity improvement of extremely low light scenes with RGB-NIR multispectral filter array sensor

Seunghoon Jee, Moon Gi Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recently, several red-green-blue near-infrared (RGB-NIR) multispectral filter arrays (MFAs), which include near infrared (NIR) pixels, have been proposed. For extremely low light scenes, the RGB-NIR MFA sensor has been extended to receive NIR light, by adding NIR pixels to supplement for the insufficient visible band light energy. However, the resolution reconstruction of the RGB-NIR MFA, using demosaicing and color restoration methods, is based on the correlation between the NIR pixels and the pixels of other colors; this does not improve the RGB channel sensitivity with respect to the NIR channel sensitivity. In this paper, we propose a color restored image post-processing method to improve the sensitivity and resolution of an RGB-NIR MFA. Although several linear regression based color channel reconstruction methods have taken advantage of the high sensitivity NIR channel, it is difficult to accurately estimate the linear coefficients because of the high level of noise in the color channels under extremely low light conditions. The proposed method solves this problem in three steps: guided filtering, based on the linear similarity between the NIR and color channels, edge preserving smoothing to improve the accuracy of linear coefficient estimation, and residual compensation for lost spatial resolution information. The results show that the proposed method is effective, while maintaining the NIR pixel resolution characteristics, and improving the sensitivity in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio by approximately 13 dB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1256
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1A2C2002167).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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