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Assume for this brief summary of image sensor operation that sensor response is linear and that all noise source stochastic processes are white (or at least widesense stationary if not white), and ergodic. This statement can be broken down as follows. A stochastic process is any time development that can be analyzed by probability theory. A white noise is a noise signal that carries the same energy at all frequencies; its frequency spectrum is flat. White noises are always stationary. A stochastic process is stationary if its joint probability distribution is invariant to time and space shifts. It implies that its average and standard deviation are invariant to time and space shifts.
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