#35: Tracking non-rigid motion and structure from 2D satellite cloud images without correspondences

L. Zhou, C. Kambhamettu, D. Goldgof, K. Palaniappan, and A. F. Hasler

IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume 23, pgs. 1330--1336, 2001

motion, tracking, parallelization, cloud, remote sensing

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Tracking both structure and motion of nonrigid objects from monocular images is an important problem in vision. In this paper, a hierarchical method which integrates local analysis (that recovers small details) and global analysis (that appropriately limits possible nonrigid behaviors) is developed to recover dense depth values and nonrigid motion from a sequence of 2D satellite cloud images without any prior knowledge of point correspondences. This problem is challenging not only due to the absence of correspondence information but also due to the lack of depth cues in the 2D cloud images (scaled orthographic projection). In our method, the cloud images are segmented into several small regions and local analysis is performed for each region. A recursive algorithm is proposed to integrate local analysis with appropriate global fluid model constraints, based on which a structure and motion analysis system, SMAS, is developed. We believe that this is the first reported system in estimating dense structure and nonrigid motion under scaled orthographic views using fluid model constraints. Experiments on cloud image sequences captured by meteorological satellites (GOES-8 and GOES-9) have been performed using our system, along with their validation and analyses. Both structure and 3D motion correspondences are estimated to subpixel accuracy. Our results are very encouraging and have many potential applications in earth and space sciences, especially in cloud models for weather prediction.