On moonless nights, airglow is the primary source of natural ground illumination in the near infrared and shortwave infrared spectral bands. Therefore, night vision imagers operating in these spectral bands view targets that are diffusely illuminated. Aerosol scattering of diffuse airglow illumination causes atmospheric path radiance and that radiance causes increased imager noise. These phenomena and their quantification are described in this paper.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 10, 2013
Revised Manuscript: June 3, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: June 11, 2013
Published: July 12, 2013
Vol. 8, Iss. 8 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Richard Vollmerhausen, "Degradation of near infrared and shortwave infrared imager performance due to atmospheric scattering of diffuse night illumination," Appl. Opt. 52, 5097-5105 (2013)