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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 10, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1971
  • pp: 838–844

Problem of Infrared Television-Camera Tubes vs Infrared Scanners

J. A. Hall  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 10, Issue 4, pp. 838-844 (1971)

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Infrared sensitive television-camera tubes have responsivities orders of magnitude higher than scanner cells, yet the latter give better images of terrestrial scenes by their own thermal radiation. It is shown that although the camera tube electron beam reading mechanism saturates to limit maximum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) to about 100, the large ir photon flux permits SNR up to 105 for typical nonsaturating cells that respond from the visible to 12 μm, despite their lower responsivity. Since ir images have very low contrast, ir sensitive camera tubes would be preferred only for wavelengths shorter than about 2.5 μm where photon flux is small and high responsivity is required.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: July 20, 1970
Published: April 1, 1971

J. A. Hall, "Problem of Infrared Television-Camera Tubes vs Infrared Scanners," Appl. Opt. 10, 838-844 (1971)

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  1. For more typical conditions, see the last two paragraphs of Sec. II.
  2. The alternative of developing the signal from the returning electron beam permits use of an electron multiplier and is used in the image orthicon. Electron beam shot noise then becomes dominant. This system is not discussed here because of its added complexity, but similar arguments will apply.
  3. M. Auphan, G. A. Boutry, J. J. Brissot, H. Dormont, J. Perilhou, G. Pietri, Infrared Phys. 3, 117 (1963). [CrossRef]

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