UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, search and rescue, infrared sensing


Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (mUAVs) have the potential to assist Wilderness Search and Rescue groups by providing a bird’s eye view of the search area. This paper proposes a method for augmenting visible-spectrum searching with infrared sensing in order to make use of thermal search clues. It details a method for combining the color and heat information from these two modalities into a single fused display to reduce needed screen space for remote field use. To align the video frames for fusion, a method for simultaneously pre-calibrating the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters of the cameras and their mount using a single multi-spectral calibration rig is also presented. A user study conducted to validate the proposed image fusion methods showed no reduction in performance when detecting various objects of interest in this single-screen fused display compared to side-by-side viewing. Most significantly, the users’ increased performance on a simultaneous auditory task showed that their cognitive load was reduced when using the fused display.

Original Publication Citation

N. Rasmussen, B. Morse, M. Goodrich, and D. Eggett, Fused Visible and Infrared Video for Use in Wilderness Search and Rescue, Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) , 29.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL






Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Computer Science