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Proceedings Paper

Noise-limited resolution for space-based Earth-observing telescopes
Author(s): Eric P. Magee; Michael C. Roggemann; Andrew S. Kondrath
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Paper Abstract

There is a current push to place large telescopes in geosynchronous earth orbit to improve the imaging resolution of earth observing systems. The concept is to use inflatable or deployable optical systems to get diffraction-limited imaging from a thirty-meter class telescope in space. While the resolution of conventional ground based telescopes is limited by near field atmospheric distortions, space based systems have no such limitation. However, the issue of signal strength must be considered. In this paper, the effects of noise on imaging performance are investigated in terms of the frequency domain signal-to-noise ratio. The resolution in the presence of noise is determined by the spatial frequency at which the SNR drops below unity. It is shown that for a power law (f-n) object spectrum the resolving power is not proportional to the square of the aperture diameter, D, but rather Dm where m is less than two and dependent upon object spectrum power law relationship, n.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 November 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4824, Airborne Reconnaissance XXVI, (15 November 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.451862
Show Author Affiliations
Eric P. Magee, Mission Research Corp. (United States)
Michael C. Roggemann, Michigan Technological Univ. (United States)
Andrew S. Kondrath, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4824:
Airborne Reconnaissance XXVI
Arthur A. Andraitis; Harry F. Koper; John M. Yencha, Editor(s)

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