Image acquired by an electro-optical system is spatially prefiltered by the optics, than
sampled by the detector and finally postfiltered digitally during image processing. A
method is presented for maximizing system performance by derivation of an optimal
Whitening Matched post-Filter (WMF). The derivation of the WMF is based on combining
clutter aliasing, misregistration, detector noise and target aliasing into a unified 'colored'
noise. Further system optimization is achieved by modification of the optical point spread
function (prefilter) so 'sampling balanced' configuration is achieved. In this configuration
undersampling noise mechanisms (Aliasing and misregistration) and oversampling noise
mechanisms (detector noise) are balanced to contribute equal magnitude. The performance
of sampling-balanced system having WMF is compared to conventional systems for point
target detection. It is shown that this system is the optimal and most robust in case of
variations in scenario parameters.