18 December 2002 Enhancement of sparse aperture imaging through multiwavelength synthesis
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Abstract
Provided the MTF has no holes, data from an unfilled aperture can be processed to form an image. The filled aperture always has higher signal-to-noise, but if that system is too large to build, then lower signal-to-noise may be better than no signal whatsoever. For constant collecting area, it is better to have fewer, larger telescopes and move them around to fill the MTF, but for many applications, e.g., the NASA/GSFC Stellar Imager, the change in the target during the reconfiguration time is a more significant limit than the signal-to-noise ratio. This drives the optical design towards a larger number of smaller apertures. Reconfiguring has higher signal to noise than snapshot imaging because different portions of the MTF are filled by different photons, thereby allowing better filtering. With this insight, we see that the signal-to-noise can also be improved by filling different portions of the MTF with different wavelengths. Furthermore, the use of multiple narrow bandwidths avoids the artifacts inherent in broadband synthesis. We have demonstrated that this works, although artifacts can form if the scene changes with wavelength. We will present results from algorithms developed for removing artifacts and for exploiting spectral diversity
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Chris Rollins, Peter E. Nebolsine, Norman Humer, David Mozurkewich, Lee J. Rickard, "Enhancement of sparse aperture imaging through multiwavelength synthesis", Proc. SPIE 4849, Highly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts, (18 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460764; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460764
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