## Signal-to-noise ratio limitations for intensity correlation imaging |

JOSA A, Vol. 31, Issue 7, pp. 1536-1546 (2014)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.31.001536

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### Abstract

Intensity correlation imaging (ICI) is a concept which has been considered for the task of providing images of satellites in geosynchronous orbit using ground-based equipment. This concept is based on the intensity interferometer principle first developed by Hanbury Brown and Twiss. It is the objective of this paper to establish that a sun-lit geosynchronous satellite is too faint a target object to allow intensity interferometry to be used in developing image information about it—at least not in a reasonable time and with a reasonable amount of equipment. An analytic treatment of the basic phenomena is presented. This is an analysis of one aspect of the statistics of the very high frequency random variations of a very narrow portion of the optical spectra of the incoherent (black-body like—actually reflected sunlight) radiation from the satellite, an analysis showing that the covariance of this radiation as measured by a pair of ground-based telescopes is directly proportional to the square of the magnitude of one component of the Fourier transform of the image of the satellite—the component being the one for a spatial frequency whose value is determined by the separation of the two telescopes. This analysis establishes the magnitude of the covariance. A second portion of the analysis considers shot-noise effects. It is shown that even with much less than one photodetection event (pde) per signal integration time an unbiased estimate of the covariance of the optical field’s random variations can be developed. Also, a result is developed for the standard deviation to be associated with the estimated value of the covariance. From these results an expression is developed for what may be called the signal-to-noise ratio to be associated with an estimate of the covariance. This signal-to-noise ratio, it turns out, does not depend on the measurement’s integration time,

**OCIS Codes**

(000.5490) General : Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics

(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems

(030.5290) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon statistics

(110.0110) Imaging systems : Imaging systems

(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics

(110.3175) Imaging systems : Interferometric imaging

**ToC Category:**

Imaging Systems

**History**

Original Manuscript: January 29, 2014

Revised Manuscript: May 5, 2014

Manuscript Accepted: May 7, 2014

Published: June 20, 2014

**Citation**

David L. Fried, Jim Riker, and Brij Agrawal, "Signal-to-noise ratio limitations for intensity correlation imaging," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A **31**, 1536-1546 (2014)

http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-31-7-1536

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### References

- D. C. Hyland, “Calculation of signal-to-noise ratio for image formation using intensity correlation interferometry,” , August2006.
- D. C. Hyland, “Constellations using entry pupil processing for high resolution imaging of geosynchronous objects,” in Proceedings of AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Conference, Tampa, Florida, January22–26, 2006.
- A. Ofir and E. Ribak, “Micro-arcsec imaging from the ground with intensity interferometers,” Proc. SPIE 6268, 1181–1191 (2006).
- R. Hanbury Brown, The Intensity Interferometer (Taylor & Francis, 1974).
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- J. C. Dainty and J. R. Fienup, “Phase retrieval and image reconstruction for astronomy,” in Image Recovery Theory and Applications, H. Stark, ed. (Academic, 1987), pp. 231–275.
- P. D. Nunez, R. Holmes, D. Kieda, and S. LeBohec, “Imaging sub-milliarcsecond features with intensity interferometry using air Cherenkov telescope arrays,” Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 424, 1006–1011 (2012). [CrossRef]
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