Air Force

Targets for assessing resolution of sensors

Testing imaging sensors across five different spectra

Sensors

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A conventional approach to determining the resolution of a sensor and image display system is to image an appropriate resolution test target and determine the smallest sized critical test pattern element that can be seen by a human observer. Many test patterns have been developed over the years such as gratings, tri-bars, tumbling Es, the Snellen chart, and the Landolt C chart to test vision or to test imaging systems using vision. For these tests, a single size test element is generally imaged at various distances until a distance is obtained at which the test object is barely resolved. This multiple imaging method at multiple distances can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Air Force scientists have addressed this issue and developed a system for rapid, fully automatic resolution assessment of optical sensors that operate individually or simultaneously over multiple spectra without the need for multiple images at multiple distances. The system includes a target placed at a distance from a focal plane of the optical sensor. Hardware and software identify the target grid in an image of the target acquired by the optical sensor. The program code further identifies each test object and determines their orientation using the identified grid. The determined orientations are then compared to a key, and the comparisons are presented.

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