Turbulence, atmospheric background, and aerosol forward scattering MTFs are presented and analyzed with regard to both low elevation rpv and high elevation reconnaissance applications. Turbulence is seen to limit image quality only at very high spatial frequencies where degradation effects are likely to take place anyway as a result of vibrational and diffraction effects. Background and aerosol MTFs limit low spatial frequency contrast as well. However, this can be overcome somewhat by proper selection of imaging wavelength. This analysis can aid in sensor selection for system design from the standpoints of both wavelength selection and sensor resolution.