The response of an optical systems to a point source, known as the point-spread function (PSF), represents one of the
most fundamental characteristics of an optical system. The PSF varies as a function of source spectral composition as
well as position with respect to the optical axis. PSF characterization of optical systems can be used to predict their
performance in imaging and non-imaging applications.
In this paper we describe an electro-optical setup for automated characterization of the PSF of optical systems over a
broad range of operating conditions and radiance levels, with spectral compositions ranging from ultraviolet (UV) to
long-wave infrared (LWIR). Our test setup includes interchangeable radiance sources and computer controlled motion
stages which allows for automated characterization of the optical system under test. The software-controlled
characterization process provides quantitative analysis of the system’s chromatic and monochromatic aberrations,
including axial chromatism, field curvature, and field distortion. The developed process also defines system level
characteristics, such as relative illumination, field of regard and magnification. Finally, we demonstrate
characterization of the operational dynamic range of imaging and non-imaging sensors employing the described setup,
including their threshold responsivity, as well as their saturation performance under intense illumination conditions.