New Worlds: TA tool will help boost video images

Tel Aviv University scientists develop tool to help enhance raw video images and identify suspects.

nir barkat 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
nir barkat 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A new "perfection tool" to help investigators enhance raw video images and identify suspects has been developed by Tel Aviv University scientists. Even though TV crime shows often present clever police technicians who zoom in on a security camera video to read a license plate or capture the face of a thief, this does not work in real life because enhancing low-quality video is a very difficult task. But now, Prof. Leonid Yaroslavsky and his team have developed the new enhancement tool for live or recorded video that has been commissioned by a defense-related company to improve what the naked eye cannot see with live video recordings in color or black-and-white. "This enhancement of resolution can be a critical factor in locating terrorists or identifying criminal suspects," says Yaroslavsky, who has published their findings in Optical Letters and the Journal of Real Time Image Processing. The new invention enhances the resolution of raw video images. This can mean the difference between "seeing" trees blowing in the wind and finding a terrorist hiding among them. "Our video perfection tool works to improve visual quality and achieve a higher resolution of the video image," explains Yaroslavsky. Once a commercial partner is found, the device can be integrated into existing technology in a matter of months, he says. SPACE COOPERATION WITH ITALY Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Herschkowitz recently signed an agreement with Italy at the Paris Air Show promoting cooperation in space research and activities. The space agencies of the two countries will develop satellites for hyper-spectral observation and telecommunications, as well as in agriculture, environmental quality and the identification of air and water pollution. Herschkowitz and Dr. Daniel Zvi Kaplan, head of the Israel Space Agency, said the partnership would "significantly contribute to Israel's economy." They signed the agreement with Enrico Saggese, head of the Italy Space Agency. The cooperation will bring about academic exchanges, joint research and use of infrastructure on land. BRINGING BUSINESS TO CAPITAL Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who envisions the capital as a world center for bioscience and culture in addition to its existing assets, recently visited the new Hadassah Medical Center-Hebrew University Biotechnology Park (JBP-Jerusalem BioPark) in Ein Kerem. The visit coincided with Barkat's announcement that NIS 100 million would be invested in the development of the capital's biomedical industry over the next five years to create jobs and attract local and foreign businesses. The JBP is a cornerstone of this plan, and is heralded as first of its kind in Israel. Barkat declared that the municipality and the Jerusalem Development Authority support plans to extend the Jerusalem light rail train (if and when the first stage ever opens) to Hadassah Ein Kerem campus, including the BioPark. The medical center, he continued, is a world-class medical facility; Hadasit, the Hadassah Medical Organization's technology transfer company, and the Hebrew University "have successfully pushed boundaries and pioneered new terrain in terms of the marriage of science and business. Today, we bear witness to a vision realized, the beginnings of a thriving biopark, the essential infrastructure element to compliment the existing innovation and commercialization programs." The BioPark, which recently opened it doors, comprises customized offices and access to Hadassah's state-of-the-art Clinical Research Center (HCRC) which provides pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies a complete package of services and facilities for drug and device clinical studies.