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Optical Engineering

Atmospheric turbulence modulation transfer function for infrared target acquisition modeling
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Paper Abstract

A new direction for the US Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate is the development of ultra-narrow field of view (UNFOV) infrared target acquisition (TA) systems. Frequently, the performance of these systems is limited by atmospheric turbulence in the imaging path. It is desirable to include the effects of atmospheric turbulence blur in infrared TA models. The current TA models are currently linear shift invariant (LSI) systems with component modulation transfer functions (MTFs). The use of additional MTFs, to account for atmospheric turbulence, requires that the turbulence blur have LSI properties. The primary unresolved issue with the treatment of turbulence blur as an MTF is the LSI characteristics of the blur. Significant variation in spatial blur and temporal blur prohibit the use of a single MTF in an LSI target acquisition model. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) use a TA model that includes an LSI blur, which is a temporal average of the turbulence blur. The research described here evaluates the BGU-type treatment of atmospheric MTF and determines it reasonable for inclusion in the US Army's TA model. In addition to the spatial characteristics, the temporal variation of the turbulence blur is also described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 40(9) doi: 10.1117/1.1390299
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 40, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Keith A. Krapels, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Ronald G. Driggers, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Richard H. Vollmerhausen, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Norman S. Kopeika, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev (Israel)
Carl E. Halford, Univ. of Memphis (United States)


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