Measurement and analysis of infrared atmospheric aerosol blur

Steve Butrimas, Ronald Driggers, Kathleen Richardson, Gerald Holst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Infrared image quality can be degraded by atmospheric aerosol scattering. Aerosol interactions are dependent upon the atmospheric conditions and wavelength. Measurements of an edge target at range in the LWIR under hot humid weather provided a blur on the image plane, which is characterized by an MTF. In this experiment, the edge spread function, measured at range, was differentiated to obtain the line spread function and transformed into a MTF. By dividing the total measured MTF by the imager and turbulence MTFs, the aerosol MTF was obtained. Numerical analysis performed using MODTRAN and existing known scattering theory was compared with the experimental results. The measured and numerical results demonstrated a significant aerosol MTF suggesting that the aerosol MTF should be included in sensor performance analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInfrared Imaging Systems
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXX
EditorsGerald C. Holst, Keith A. Krapels
ISBN (Electronic)9781510626676
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventInfrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXX 2019 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 16 2019Apr 18 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceInfrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXX 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • MTF analysis
  • aerosol MTF
  • aerosol blur
  • aerosols
  • atmospheric MTF
  • imaging performance
  • scattering
  • weather imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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