A very simple model of thermal radiation sources and detectors is used to examine the resultant response of the combination. The desired output of this combination is the characteristic of the source. Through this simple model it is demonstrated that the detector output may be very misleading if the entrance aperture of the detector is large or the spatial variation of the source varies wildly. Only if the source spatial variation is very large compared to the area seen by the detector is there any hope of obtaining the desired information.
© 1984 Optical Society of America
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