Abstract

We address the optimization of the relative arrangement (aperture configuration) of a phased array of optical telescopes, coherently combined to form images of extended objects in a common focal plane. A novel optimality criterion, which is directly linked to the restoration error of the original object from the recorded image, is derived. This criterion is then refined into a second criterion to accommodate the possible knowledge of the noise spectrum. The optimal configuration is a function of the maximum spatial frequency of interest (or desired resolution) and takes into account the diameters of the elementary telescopes. Simulations illustrate the usefulness of this criterion for designing a synthetic-aperture optical instrument with three, four, and five telescopes.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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