Performance limitations of optical detector arrays (ODA) are evaluated taking into account background radiation, quantum noise, and internal noises of the photodetector as well as the impact of the atmosphere on the optical wave propagation. It is shown that the accuracy of the ODA-based angle estimator rapidly decreases when the range exceeds a certain limit. Thus, it is possible to define the maximum range of the ODA. Behavior of the maximum range as a function of wavelength and of target radiation energy is investigated. Large maximum ranges are obtained at important wavelengths of 0.63, 3.83, and 10.6 μm. It is shown that the ODA performance is limited by the quantum noise for the small-target radiation energy and by the atmospheric turbulence and attenuation for the large-target radiation energy.
© 1983 Optical Society of America
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