Abstract

A method for optimizing the aperture size in emission imaging is presented that takes into account limitations due to the Poisson nature of the detected radiation stream as well as the conspicuity limitation imposed by a spatially varying background. System assessment is based on the calculated performance of two model observers: the best linear observer, also called the Hotelling observer, and the nonprewhitening matched-filter observer. The tasks are the detection of a Gaussian signal and the discrimination of a single from a double Gaussian signal. When the background is specified, detection is optimized by enlarging the aperture; an inhomogeneous background results in an optimum aperture size matched naturally to the signal. The discrimination task has a finite optimum aperture for a flat background; a nonuniform background drives the optimum toward still-finer resolution.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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