Select courses from list below:
Practical Applications of Thermal Imaging Systems
Engineering Approach to Imaging Systems Design
Testing and Evaluation of E-O Imaging Systems

Testing and Evaluation of E-O Imaging Systems

The test concepts presented apply to CCD/CMOS cameras, intensified CCD cameras, night vision goggles, SWIR cameras, and infrared cameras. Using a systems approach, this course describes all the quantitative and qualitative metrics that are used to characterize imaging system performance. Laboratory performance parameters discussed include resolution, responsivity, random noise, uniformity, fixed pattern noise, modulation transfer function (MTF), contrast transfer function (CTF), minimum resolvable temperature (MRT), and the minimum resolvable contrast (MRC). The eye's spatial and temporal integration allows perception of images whose signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is less than unity. Since most imaging systems spatially sample the scene, sampling artifacts affects all measurements and significantly affect MRT and MTF test results. Phasing effects are illustrated. Data analysis techniques are independent of the sensor selected (i.e., wavelength independent). The difference lies in the input variable name (watts, lumens, or delta-T) and the output variable name (volts, lumens, or observer response).

Field tests are extremely difficult. Differences between lab and field test approaches are provided with an estimate of anticipated field results. Real world target are significantly different than laboratory targets and the illumination is quite different. This course describes the most common laboratory test techniques. Equally important is identifying those parameters that adversely affect results. Believable test results depend upon specifications that are testable, unambiguous, and provide a true measure of performance.

This course will enable to you to:

  • Write concise test procedures with unambiguous system specifications
  • Identify all appropriate test parameters
  • Differentiate between observer variability and system response during MRC and MRT testing
  • Understand the difference between the CTF and the MTF
  • Discern the difference between poor system performance, peculiarities of the system under test, and measurement errors
  • Understand how sampling affects test results
  • Appreciate the benefits and short comings of fully automated testing
  • Identify parameters that can lead to poor results.
  • Understand the differences between laboratory and field testing

The course is for managers, specification writers, and test engineers involved with all phases of imaging system characterization ranging from satisfying customer requirements to insuring that specifications are unambiguous and testable.
Course level: Intermediate
Course length: full day

Gerald Holst is an independent consultant for imaging system analysis and testing. He was a technical liaison to NATO, research scientist for DoD, and a member of the Lockheed-Martin senior technical staff. Dr. Holst has chaired the SPIE conference Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling and Testing since 1989. He is author of over 30 journal articles and 6 books (published by SPIE and/or JCD Publishing). Dr. Holst is a member of OSA and is a SPIE Fellow.

Testing and Evaluation of Infrared Imaging Systems, 3rd edition (SPIE Press and JCD Publishing, 2008) by Gerald C. Holst.

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