We address the issue of distinguishing point objects from a cluttered background and estimating their position by image processing. We are interested in the specific context in which the object’s signature varies significantly relative to its random subpixel location because of aliasing. The conventional matched filter neglects this phenomenon and causes a consistent degradation of detection performance. Thus alternative detectors are proposed, and numerical results show the improvement brought by approximate and generalized likelihood-ratio tests compared with pixel-matched filtering. We also study the performance of two types of subpixel position estimator. Finally, we put forward the major influence of sensor design on both estimation and point object detection.
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