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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 45, Iss. 13 — May. 1, 2006
  • pp: 2901–2910

Performance scaling in flat imagers

Michael W. Haney  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 13, pp. 2901-2910 (2006)

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A performance scaling formulation for flat form-factor cameras is introduced. The analysis follows from basic geometric and sensitivity constraints found in low-profile imaging sensors. A capacity metric is proposed and used to estimate performance cost scaling as a function of the width-to-height aspect ratio in the optics of thin imagers. Two basic flat imaging sensor classes are considered—one folds the optical path of an annular telescope within the volume of a central obscuration, and the other uses spatial multiplexing and filtering across an array of low-resolution small cameras to generate an estimate of the high-resolution image. Scaling trends are highlighted that enable general performance comparisons at the optical signal collection level, thereby providing conclusions that are independent of the computational aspects of any particular approach. The results indicate that thin imagers face significant costs in physical size and sampling requirements if they are to match the performance of conventional cameras in the basic parameters of field of view, resolution, dynamic range, and sensitivity.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.1220) Imaging systems : Apertures
(110.2970) Imaging systems : Image detection systems

ToC Category:
Performance Analysis

Original Manuscript: August 24, 2005
Revised Manuscript: January 9, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: January 10, 2006

Michael W. Haney, "Performance scaling in flat imagers," Appl. Opt. 45, 2901-2910 (2006)

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  1. J. Tanida, T. Kumagai, K. Yamada, S. Miyatake, K. Ishida, T. Morimoto, N. Kondou, D. Miyazaki, and Y. Ichioka, "Thin observation module by bound optics (TOMBO): concept and experimental verification," Appl. Opt. 40, 1806-1813 (2001). [CrossRef]
  2. E. J. Tremblay, J. Rutkowski, I. Tamay, R. A. Stack, R. L. Morrison, D. Combs, J. Mader, H. Kim, U. Levy, Y. Fainman, and J. E. Ford, "Ultra-thin folded imager," presented at the OSA Topical Meeting on Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging, Charlotte, N.C., 6-8 June 2005.
  3. D. J. Brady, M. A. Fiddy, U. Shahid, and T. J. Suleski, "Compressive optical MONTAGE photography initiative: noise and error analysis," presented at the OSA Topical Meeting on Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging, Charlotte, N.C., 6-8 June 2005.
  4. M. W. Haney, M. P. Christensen, D. Rajan, S. C. Douglas, and S. L. Wood, "Adaptive flat micro-mirror-array-based computational imaging architecture," presented at the OSA Topical Meeting on Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging, Charlotte, N.C., 6-8 June 2005.
  5. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 7th ed. (Cambridge U. Press, 1999), p. 275.

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