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Proceedings Paper

Analysis and simulation of low light level image sensors
Author(s): Boyd Fowler; Xinqiao Liu
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Paper Abstract

A multitude of scientific, medical, and defense applications require imaging at low light level. Examples include: live-cell fluorescence microscopy, wavefront sensing for adaptive optics, and night vision. To address these applications low light level sensors need to have low noise, high quantum efficiency, low lag, high MTF, high frame rates, and low power. Over the past 50 years a variety of techniques have been developed to analyze and compare these technologies. The purpose of this paper is to develop an analytical method for estimating limiting resolution of low light level sensors and cameras. We present a communication theory based model that is designed to enable rapid evaluation of low light level sensors and aid in the understanding of how these systems operate. This model can be applied to electron multiplied CCDs, electron bombarded CMOS sensors, and hybrid CCD/CMOS sensors. In addition we also describe a device physics based low light level camera simulator. We compare our model to the camera simulator and show that the model can be used to accurately predict camera performance. In addition the computational complexity of our model is 1/150 of a complete low light level camera simulator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6201, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense V, 620124 (10 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666554
Show Author Affiliations
Boyd Fowler, Fairchild Imaging (United States)
Xinqiao Liu, Fairchild Imaging (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6201:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense V
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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