Researchers at NASA's Ames Research Center
have significantly advanced the state-of-the-art of
digital image compression. From cable TV to high speed
copiers, a wide array of today's electronic imaging
products utilize the power of digital imaging. NASA Ames
has developed DCTune, a computer technology that
significantly improves efficiencies in storage
and transmission of documents, pictures and videos. This
technology is compatible with industry compression
standards known as JPEG and MPEG. DCTune can be used as
add-on modules of software to existing imaging
workstation software or imaging devices, or as add-on
functions to existing microchip designs.
The DCTune technology represents a fundamental
improvement on existing optimization techniques known as
Quantization. Quantization selectively increases or
decreases the amount of information used to render a
picture. This selective allocation is based on the
anticipated sensitivity of the human eye to the target
portion of the image. If the eye is sensitive to the
portion then more picture information will be used.
Previous techniques took an averaging approach to
determine the eye's sensitivity toward brightness and
contrast. This leads to over allocation of information in
portions of the image where the eye is not as sensitive
as represented. However in the DCTune technology the
sensitivity behavior of the human eye is accurately
modeled and it is thus able to precisely determine the
amount of information needed for each image. The net
result is consistently better image quality and higher
Potential Commercial Uses
- Medical applications such as storage and
transmission of X-ray and MRI pictures.
- Internet multimedia.
- Cable TV, Advanced Television or HDTV.
- Motion picture transmission and archival.
- Still or motion picture editing.
- Digital copiers and scanners.
- Digital facsimile machines.
- Digital still-cameras.
- Digital video cameras.
- Personal communications services.
- Control over desired picture quality.
- Control over desired compression efficiency.
- Optimum compression at given picture quality.
- Expect 20% to 30% higher compression efficiency.
- DCTune technology is available for licensing.
- DCT, JPEG, MPEG, image compression, optimized
DCT, optimized compression, compression quality
For more information regarding how this technology can
help your company, please contact the Far West Regional
Transfer Center either via e-mail to email@example.com or phone at