Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


John Saghri


The goal of this study is to develop a smoke detecting algorithm using digital image processing techniques on multi-spectral (visible & infrared) video. By utilizing principal component analysis (PCA) followed by spatial filtering of principal component images the location of smoke can be accurately identified over a period of exposure time with a given frame capture rate. This result can be further analyzed with consideration of wind factor and fire detection range to determine if a fire is present within a scene. Infrared spectral data is shown to contribute little information concerning the smoke signature. Moreover, finalized processing techniques are focused on the blue spectral band as it is furthest away from the infrared spectral bands and because it experimentally yields the largest footprint in the processed principal component images in comparison to other spectral bands. A frame rate of .5 images/sec (1 image every 2 seconds) is determined to be the maximum such that temporal variance of smoke can be captured. The study also shows eigenvectors corresponding to the principal components that best represent smoke and are valuable indications of smoke temporal signature. Raw video data is taken through rigorous pre-processing schemes to align frames from respective spectral band both spatially and temporally. A multi-paradigm numerical computing program, MATLAB, is used to match the field of view across five spectral bands: Red, Green, Blue, Long-Wave Infrared, and Mid-Wave Infrared. Extracted frames are aligned temporally from key frames throughout the data capture. This alignment allows for more accurate digital processing for smoke signature. v Clustering analysis on RGB and HSV value systems reveal that color alone is not helpful to segment smoke. The feature values of trees and other false positives are shown to be too closely related to features of smoke for in solely one instance in time. A temporal principal component transform on the blue spectral band eliminates static false positives and emphasizes the temporal variance of moving smoke in images with higher order. A threshold adjustment is applied to a blurred blue principal component of non-unity principal component order and smoke results can be finalized using median filtering. These same processing techniques are applied to difference images as a more simple and traditional technique for identifying temporal variance and results are compared.