Northwestern: AI Algorithm Unblurs the Cosmos

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Northwestern: AI Algorithm Unblurs the Cosmos

Post by bystander » Wed Apr 12, 2023 5:23 pm

AI Algorithm Unblurs the Cosmos
Northwestern University | 2023 Mar 30

Tool produces faster, more realistic images than current methods

The cosmos would look a lot better if Earth’s atmosphere wasn’t photo bombing it all the time.

Even images obtained by the world’s best ground-based telescopes are blurry due to the atmosphere’s shifting pockets of air. While seemingly harmless, this blur obscures the shapes of objects in astronomical images, sometimes leading to error-filled physical measurements that are essential for understanding the nature of our universe.

Now researchers at Northwestern University and Tsinghua University in Beijing have unveiled a new strategy to fix this issue. The team adapted a well-known computer-vision algorithm used for sharpening photos and, for the first time, applied it to astronomical images from ground-based telescopes. The researchers also trained the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm on data simulated to match the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s imaging parameters, so, when the observatory opens next year, the tool will be instantly compatible.

While astrophysicists already use technologies to remove blur, the adapted AI-driven algorithm works faster and produces more realistic images than current technologies. The resulting images are blur-free and truer to life. They also are beautiful — although that’s not the technology’s purpose. ...

Galaxy Image Deconvolution for Weak Gravitational Lensing
with Unrolled Plug-and-Play ADMM
~ Tianao Li, Emma Alexander
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