Many impressive developments in image simulation technology have led to extensive use of synthetic images in the motion picture industry for special effects and animation, and also in applications such as aircraft flight simulators. Although these images appear correct to the human eye, they generally are not suitable for development of image processing and machine vision applications because the logarithmic response of the human eye does not match the linear response of most electronic detectors. Synthetic images must accurately represent the effects which are present in detected images, whether produced by the source(s) of illumination, the scene itself, the medium through which the sensor is viewing the scene, the sensor system, or electronic circuits between the detector array and the processing system if they are to be useful for development and analysis of image processing (and machine vision) systems. Recent developments have led to the use of laser sensors for various machine vision applications including collision avoidance, wire detection and avoidance, intrusion detection, and underwater imaging systems. With recent developments in low cost laser systems, the use of these sensors for numerous applications relating to machine vision is likely to continue to expand for the foreseeable future. SPARTA's work in the area of image synthesis began with the development of a coherent laser radar simulation running on IBM and compatible personal computers, and has since branched into modeling of incoherent active and passive systems as well. SPARTA's current optical imaging sensor simulation, SENSORSIM, is written in ANSI standard FORTRAN '77 to ensure portability.