Abstract

We analyze photon-noise effects on target detection performance in low-flux coherent active imagery systems. We show that when photon noise is expected, the performance of classical detection techniques designed for pure and fully developed speckle images can be improved with no increase in algorithm complexity. Furthermore, the mean photon number under which photon noise becomes sensitive is higher when the target and background mean values are unknown than in the idealized case, where they are assumed to be known, and when the reflectivity ratio between the target and the background is low.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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