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Proceedings Paper

Key performance requirements for military low-light television cameras
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Paper Abstract

Low-light-level video cameras have benefited from rapid advances in digital technology during the past two decades. In legacy cameras, the video signal was processed using analog electronics which made real-time, nonlinear processing of the video signal very difficult. In state-of-the-art cameras, the analog signal is digitized directly from the sensor and processed entirely in the digital domain, enabling the application of advanced processing techniques to the video signal in real time. In fact, all aspects of modern low-light television cameras are controlled via digital technology, resulting in various enhancements that surpass analog electronics. In addition to video processing, large-scale digital integration in these low-light level cameras enables precise control of the image intensifier and image sensor, facilitating large inter-scene dynamic range capability, extended intra-scene dynamic range and blooming control. Digital video processing and digital camera control are used to provide improved system-level performance, including nearly perfect pixel response uniformity, correction of blemishes, and electronic boresight. Compact digital electronics also enable comprehensive camera built-in-test (BIT) capability which provides coverage for the entire camera--from photons into the sensor to the processed video signal going out the connector. Individuals involved in the procurement of present and future low-light-level cameras need to understand these advanced camera capabilities in order to write accurate specifications for their advanced video system requirements. This paper provides an overview of these modern video system capabilities along with example specification text.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6546, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications IV, 654602 (20 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.717636
Show Author Affiliations
Steven Shimer, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Gerald Heim, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6546:
Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications IV
Daniel J. Henry, Editor(s)

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