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Proceedings Paper

In-flight MTF characterization for high-resolution aerial reconnaissance
Author(s): Michael James DeWeert; Kevin T. C. Jim; Michael Hearne
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Paper Abstract

The demands of the unmanned airborne multispectral surf-zone mine counter-measures (MCM) mission require high spatial resolution. Weight, volume and power constraints preclude stabilized operation of the cameras for this application. Further, the system is to be flown on a rotary-winged platform, with its attendant vibration characteristics. Thus, the MTF needs to be measured in flight to insure it meets the resolution requirements. We apply the slanted-edge MTF method to the in-flight characterization of airborne high-resolution cameras, analyzing images of orthogonal slanted edges to estimate the motion and vibration contributions to the MTF, and show that the system meets its requirements. We also apply a methodology for scaling to other altitudes and speeds to show that the system will have excellent imaging performance throughout its operational envelope. For our application, the slanted-edge method is more accurate and reproducible than the alternative of placing MTF bar targets under the aircraft flight path. Further, the slanted-edge targets are much easier to deploy and recover, and ease the navigation tolerances.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5089, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII, (11 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.488558
Show Author Affiliations
Michael James DeWeert, Science and Technology International (United States)
Kevin T. C. Jim, Science and Technology International (United States)
Michael Hearne, Science and Technology International (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5089:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII
Russell S. Harmon; John H. Holloway; J. T. Broach, Editor(s)

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