Abstract

This work documents the performance of a recently proposed generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT) algorithm in detecting thermal point-source targets against a sky background. A calibrated source is placed above the horizon at various ranges and then imaged using a mid-wave infrared camera. The proposed algorithm combines a so-called “shrinkage” estimator of the background covariance matrix and an iterative maximum likelihood estimator of the point-source parameters to produce the GLRT statistic. It is clearly shown that the proposed approach results in better detection performance than either standard energy detection or previous implementations of the GLRT detector.

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