We address the optimization of the relative arrangement (aperture configuration) of a phased array of optical telescopes, coherently combined to form images of extended objects in a common focal plane. A novel optimality criterion, which is directly linked to the restoration error of the original object from the recorded image, is derived. This criterion is then refined into a second criterion to accommodate the possible knowledge of the noise spectrum. The optimal configuration is a function of the maximum spatial frequency of interest (or desired resolution) and takes into account the diameters of the elementary telescopes. Simulations illustrate the usefulness of this criterion for designing a synthetic-aperture optical instrument with three, four, and five telescopes.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 16, 1996
Revised Manuscript: July 10, 1996
Manuscript Accepted: May 14, 1996
Published: December 1, 1996
Laurent M. Mugnier, Gérard Rousset, and Frédéric Cassaing, "Aperture configuration optimality criterion for phased arrays of optical telescopes," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 2367-2374 (1996)