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Chapter 7:
Contrast Performance Requirements
This chapter describes certain requirements for optimum display quality including contrast-related luminance and color requirements. The following two chapters treat resolution and noise/artifact requirements. This discussion begins with a listing of key parameters and requirements that were drawn primarily from a set of requirements developed in 1998–1999 by representatives from the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and the National Information Display Laboratory (NIDL). The requirements were developed for the NIMA Integrated Exploitation Capability (IEC) program, a major soft-copy workstation procurement program. These requirements have been modified in some cases by the author to reflect technology improvements as well as findings in the medical literature. In this chapter, each performance parameter is defined and the effects of performance variations are illustrated with image examples and data from previous studies. Methods of acquiring the information needed to assess the performance of a display are described. Measurement procedures are explained and test targets are provided. These procedures were drawn from several references but have been simplified in some cases. Note that all of the test targets are listed in the appendix and have been provided on the enclosed CD. Methods for determining the performance of a display range from simple visual assessment to complete instrumentation. The choice of method is cost-driven. A complete set of measurement instruments costs on the order of $200,000 U.S. (2002) and can probably be justified only for large procurements by organizations maintaining several hundred displays. At the other end of the spectrum, a reasonable level of performance can be achieved for $1000 or less.
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