Aperture optimization for emission imaging: Effect of a spatially varying background

K. J. Myers, J. P. Rolland, H. H. Barrett, R. F. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


A method for optimizing the aperture size in emission imaging is presented that takes into account limitations due to the Poisson nature of the detected radiation stream as well as the conspicuity limitation imposed by a spatially varying background. System assessment is based on the calculated performance of two model observers: the best linear observer, also called the Hotelling observer, and the nonprewhitening matched-filter observer. The tasks are the detection of a Gaussian signal and the discrimination of a single from a double Gaussian signal. When the background is specified, detection is optimized by enlarging the aperture; an inhomogeneous background results in an optimum aperture size matched naturally to the signal. The discrimination task has a finite optimum aperture for a flat background; a nonuniform background drives the optimum toward still-finer resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1293
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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