Experimental Assessment Parameters and Procedures for Characterisation of Advanced Thermal Imagers (Parametres et proc'edures d'evaluation experimentale pour la caracterisation d'imageurs thermiques avances)
NATO BRUSSELS (BELGIUM)
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The infrared community has entered an era where staring imagers are becoming the norm and not the exception. Staring array sensors are quickly making their way into target acquisition and surveillancereconnaissance applications. The large detector characteristics and improved optical quality of these systems make for undersampled image transfer with high sensitivity. The classical MTF and MRTD resolution and visual performance parameters respectively, do not exist for undersampled imagers. In addition, the higher sensitivity of these systems requires that new noise measures be implemented. The objective of this study undertaken by the RTO SET Panel Task Group 12 TG12 was the development and investigation of experimental assessment parameters and measurement techniques required for characterising advanced staring or micro-scanned thermal imagers. This study is complementary to a previous TG12 report entitled Modelling of Undersampled Infrared Imaging Systems which is published as a separate RTO Publication RTO-TR-O75I. TG12 collectively and TG12 member countries have developed and investigated a number of measures and measurement techniques to characterise advanced thermal imagers. They are presented in this report. These measures and techniques allow assessment of basic, system-relevant sensor parameters, such as spatial resolution and noise, as well as overall sensor performance.