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3 May 2016 Unified characterization of imaging sensors from VIS through LWIR
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Modern reconnaissance strategies are based on gathering information using as many spectral bands as possible. Besides the well-known atmospheric windows at VIS, MWIR and LWIR wavelength suitable for long range observation progress in detector technology has provided excess also to the atmospheric window from 1.0 to 1.7 μm known as SWIR. Independent of the chosen spectral band all applications are longing to achieve the largest observation range possible. Thus, a concept for comparing the sensors in different wavelength bands is appreciated. Achievable ranges are influenced in part by the atmospheric conditions and in part by the capability of the imaging sensor, only the latter are under the control of the instrument manufacturer. In range simulation the contribution of the sensor can be efficiently characterized by using the MRC and the MRTD concept. The minimal resolvable contrast (MRC) as a function of spatial frequency is a decisive figure if merit for the VIS and SWIR. The minimum resolvable temperature difference (MRTD) as a function of spatial frequency is the same for MWIR and LWIR. All relevant sensor data are covered by MRC and MRTD, respectively, and thus can be introduced into range calculation by simply measuring the MRC or MRTD data curves. Based on measured MRC data range calculations for three imaging sensors (VIS, NIR and SWIR) are presented for selected atmospheric conditions together with significant captured images.
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M. Gerken, H. Schlemmer, and M. Münzberg "Unified characterization of imaging sensors from VIS through LWIR", Proc. SPIE 9820, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXVII, 98200G (3 May 2016);

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