Share Email Print
cover

Optical Engineering

Signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio, and exposure time for imaging systems with photon-limited noise
Author(s): Robert L. Lucke; R. A. Kessel
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $20.00 $25.00
cover GOOD NEWS! Your organization subscribes to the SPIE Digital Library. You may be able to download this paper for free. Check Access

Paper Abstract

We present simple, mathematically tractable definitions of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) for imaging systems when photon-counting statistics are the dominant source of noise. These definitions lead to a simple expression for CNR that is convenient for comparing images taken under different conditions and/or in different wave bands. Furthermore, this real-space CNR is directly proportional to the SNR in Fourier space. The sampling factor Q with which a focal plane array records an image is shown to be a primary determinant of exposure time and of SNR. If Q is known (or assumed), the f-number, resolution, and pixel size are not required.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Opt. Eng. 45(5) 056403 doi: 10.1117/1.2205850
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 45, Issue 5
Show Author Affiliations
Robert L. Lucke, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
R. A. Kessel, Naval Research Lab. (United States)


© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top