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A Basis for Estimating Digital Camera Parameters

Light, Don
Photogrammetric engineering and remote sensing 2004 v.70 no.3 pp. 297-300
cameras, engineers, image analysis, wavelengths
<p><i>Matching the diffraction-limited optical resolution with the appropriate detector size is a fundamental design requirement for digital imaging systems. A useful Design Function based on the Airy disk is λF/p = 0.82. Where λ is the average wavelength, F is the camera F-number, and p is the detector sampling pitch (pixel size). A second metric, attributed to Schade and reported by Holst (1999), produces an often used Design Function: λF/p = 1. Examples demonstrate the use of the Design Functions to determine basic parameters, F-number, focal length, aperture diameter, and pixel size for an imaging system. Pixel size is selected from commercially available arrays and the other parameters are estimated given the required ground sampled distance (GSD) with either of the two Design Functions. One of the primary uses for the Design Functions is to provide optical systems engineers with a simple, fast, and proven means of arriving at first-order estimates for electro-optical camera designs. It follows that estimating costs for building large space camera systems should be less complicated.</i></p>