Abstract

The continued development of new and fundamentally different classes of imaging spectrometer has increased both the scope and the complexity of comparisons of their relative signal-to-noise ratios. Although the throughput and multiplex advantages of Fourier-transform spectrometers were established in the early 1950s, the application of this terminology to imaging spectrometers is often ambiguous and has led to some confusion and debate. For comparisons of signal-collection abilities to be useful to a system designer, they must be based on identical requirements and constraints. We present unambiguous definitions of terminology for application to imaging spectrometers and comparisons of signal-collection abilities and signal-to-noise-ratios on a basis that is useful to a systems designer and inclusive of six fundamentally different classes (both traditional and novel) of imaging spectrometers.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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