A regression-based model was developed relating aerial image quality, expressed in terms of the National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale (NIIRS), to fundamental image attributes. The General Image-Quality Equation (GIQE) treats three main attributes: scale, expressed as the ground-sampled distance; sharpness, measured from the system modulation transfer function; and the signal-to-noise ratio. The GIQE can be applied to any visible sensor and predicts NIIRS ratings with a standard error of 0.3 NIIRS. The image attributes treated by the GIQE are influenced by system design and operation parameters. The GIQE allows system designers and operators to perform trade-offs for the optimization of image quality.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: February 4, 1997
Revised Manuscript: May 7, 1997
Published: November 10, 1997
Jon C. Leachtenauer, William Malila, John Irvine, Linda Colburn, and Nanette Salvaggio, "General Image-Quality Equation: GIQE," Appl. Opt. 36, 8322-8328 (1997)