Abstract

In view of the optical detection requirements of wide-area and continuous surveillance of air targets, the detection ability of an infrared imaging system in geostationary orbit for aircraft plumes is studied. The point spread model of the subpixel imaging of the full chain, including the aircraft plume, the sea surface, the environmental atmosphere, the optical system, and the imaging detector is established. The detection ability of the typical imaging system in geostationary orbit is analyzed from the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the detection range in combination with the effect of the point spread function (PSF) of the optical system. Meanwhile, the optimal coupling condition of the PSF to the spatial resolution is discussed. The imaging characteristics of the aircraft target on the focal plane of the infrared imaging system under different spatial sampling rates are simulated and verified. Research shows that the SNR of the system first increases, and then decreases gradually with an increase of the spatial sampling rate. The detectable range covered by the pixel footprint decreases as the detector size increases. When the detector size is 15, 20, and 30 μm, the target can be detected with a spatial resolution of 200–700, 300–700, and 400–600 m, respectively.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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