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Proceedings Paper

Specifications For Intensified Solid-State Cameras In Photon-Starved, Small-Image Applications
Author(s): Richard C. Smith; Mark A. Sartor; Albert Lazzarini
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Paper Abstract

New scientific applications for cameras/imaging arrays continually push the state of the art to new limits. Whereas traditional applications use these devices to generate pictures (qualitative data), these same devices are being used more frequently as two-dimensional radiometric tools. As these new applications levy more stringent requirements on these devices, it has become quite apparent that the basic information offered on specification sheets by camera vendors is inadequate. Further, a lack of any industry standard in these specifications makes accurate comparison of similar devices (by different manufacturers) nearly impossible without actually testing them side by side. Of particular interest to our application is achieving a good signal-to-noise ration (SNR) at low light levels for small images, including those of point sources. Statistical fluctuations in intensity readings of individual pixels depend on several parameters in addition to irradiance and inherent camera noise. Among these are (i) the size and shape of the point spread function, (ii) the origin of causes of blur, and (iii) the size and shape of the image. For example, pixels irradiated with a flood beam register additional signal that is associated with their neighbors due to blur. Pixels irradiated individually with a point beam can lose signal due to blur. Their signal is thereby lower and their shot noise is worse. Accordingly their SNR is degraded. We present a set of parameters whose determination can serve in predicting the sensitivity and SNR for use in a wide variety of applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 January 1990
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1155, Ultrahigh Speed and High Speed Photography, Photonics, and Videography '89: Seventh in a Series, (17 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.962403
Show Author Affiliations
Richard C. Smith, Kaman Aerospace Corporation (United States)
Mark A. Sartor, Kaman Aerospace Corporation (United States)
Albert Lazzarini, Kaman Aerospace Corporation (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1155:
Ultrahigh Speed and High Speed Photography, Photonics, and Videography '89: Seventh in a Series
Gary L. Stradling, Editor(s)

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