TOD Versus MRT When Evaluating Thermal Imagers that Exhibit Dynamic Performance
INDIGO SYSTEMS CORP GOLETA CA
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While it is universally recognized that image quality of a thermal sensor is a strong function of spatial uniformity, the metrics commonly used to assess performance do not adequately measure the effectiveness of non-uniformity correction NUC. Image uniformity is generally not static, particularly if correction terms are updated intermittently with periodic shuttering or gradually with scene-based NUC. Minimum Resolvable Temperature MRT, the most prevalent test for characterizing overall imaging performance, is poorly suited for characterizing dynamic performance. The Triangle Orientation Discrimination TOD metric proposed by Bijl and Valeton, because of its short observation window, provides better capability for evaluating sensors that exhibit non-negligible uniformity drift. This paper compares the effectiveness of MRT and TOD for measuring dynamic performance. TOD measurements of a shutter-based thermal imager are provided immediately after shutter correction and 3 minutes later. The drift in TOD performance shows excellent correlation to drift in system noise.
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