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Proceedings Paper

Real-time synthetic image generator for quantifying the performance of infrared imagers
Author(s): Nicholas Joseph Arnold; Glen Wade
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Paper Abstract

Evaluation of real-time IR imagers is usually based solely on quantitative factors such as SNR, MTF, nonlinearity, dynamic range, and detector nonuniformity. These imagers may come up to specifications for each parameter individually, but still be unacceptable to human observers because of cumulative effects. We have devised a method to evaluate and compare the overall performance of real-time imaging systems for which humans are the ultimate receivers of the images. We designed and built a real-time synthetic image generator (RTSIG) for simulating real-time thermal imagers, and for use in visual psychophysical testing of human observers. RTSIG is highly useful in determining the effects on humans of various combinations and levels of image degradation mechanisms. Primary considerations involve MTF, detector array configurations, detector noise, detector nonuniformity, and electronics transfer functions. We have discovered surprising differences in the performances of single-detector imagers and linear array imagers. For single-detector imagers with fixed total noise power, an imager with a higher knee frequency has a lower threshold of detectability than one with a lower knee frequency. For linear array imagers, varying the knee frequency within limits does not affect the threshold of detectability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 1995
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 2553, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing III, (29 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.221376
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas Joseph Arnold, Mission Research Corp. (United States)
Glen Wade, Ctr. de Investigaciones en Optica (Mexico)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2553:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing III
Marija Strojnik; Bjorn F. Andresen, Editor(s)

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