The effect of noise in MRT/MRC theory

Eddie Jacobs, Ron Driggers, Richard Vollmerhausen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent advances in the modeling of human observers using infrared and electro-optic sensors have provided remarkable accuracy in predicting performance. These advances center on a deeper understanding of the psychophysics involved in the target acquisition process. New insights into the role of noise as a limiter of sensor performance have resulted. A complete theory of target acquisition performance developed by Vollmerhausen et. al., is reviewed. A central element of this theory is the notion of minimum resolvable temperature (MRT) or minimum resolvable contrast (MRC). These functions can be subsumed under the idea of threshold vision. A general equation for threshold vision of an observer using an electro-optic sensor is presented. The relationship between threshold vision and MRT/MRC is shown. Channel models for the human perception are used to derive mathematical models for noise incorporating both the temporal and spatial response of the observer. The impact of noise found in electro-optical sensors on the threshold vision function and the target acquisition task is shown. The implications of the theory on laboratory characterization of sensors are explored. Future expansions of this theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
Pages (from-to)284-294
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventElectro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Oct 25 2004Oct 27 2004

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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