Diurnal and nocturnal cloud segmentation of all-sky imager (ASI) images using enhancement fully convolutional networks
Cloud segmentation plays a very important role in astronomical observatory site selection. At present, few researchers segment cloud in nocturnal all-sky imager (ASI) images. This paper proposes a new automatic cloud segmentation algorithm that utilizes the advantages of deep-learning fully convolutional networks (FCNs) to segment cloud pixels from diurnal and nocturnal ASI images; it is called the enhancement fully convolutional network (EFCN). Firstly, all the ASI images in the data set from the Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy at the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) are converted from the red–green–blue (RGB) color space to hue saturation intensity (HSI) color space. Secondly, the I channel of the HSI color space is enhanced by histogram equalization. Thirdly, all the ASI images are converted from the HSI color space to RGB color space. Then after 100 000 iterative trainings based on the ASI images in the training set, the optimum associated parameters of the EFCN-8s model are obtained. Finally, we use the trained EFCN-8s to segment the cloud pixels of the ASI image in the test set. In the experiments our proposed EFCN-8s was compared with four other algorithms (OTSU, FCN-8s, EFCN-32s, and EFCN-16s) using four evaluation metrics. Experiments show that the EFCN-8s is much more accurate in cloud segmentation for diurnal and nocturnal ASI images than the other four algorithms.