Point target detection in space-based infrared (IR) imaging system is an important task in many applications such as IR searching and tracking and remote sensing. Although it has attracted great interest and tremendous efforts during last decades, it remains a challenging problem due to the uncertain heterogeneous background and the limited processing resources on the onboard platform. Aiming at this problem, a novel background suppression method based on multi-direction filtering fusion is proposed in this paper. The process of background prediction for each pixel by this method can be divided into two steps. Firstly, eight predicted values are obtained by using linear filtering methods along eight different directions respectively. Then, Gaussian weighted sum of the eight predicted values is computed to generate the final result. We conduct several groups of experiments on different categories scenes with simulated targets, and the final experimental results demonstrate that our methods can not only obtain state-of-the-art performance on background suppression (especially for heterogeneous backgrounds), but also detect targets accurately with low false alarm rate and high speed in IR point target detection tasks.
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