The problem of the definition and the determination of an image quality criterion has long been and still is a major one in the field of image evaluation and assessment. A large variety of measures have been used, from a two-point resolution criterion to fidelity defect, etc. None of these measures is, however, completely satisfactory. In this chapter, we wish to discuss some of the simple criteria in terms of the intensity impulse response of the optical system. This allows us a preliminary look at the image assessment problem and also allows us to follow through further examples on the use of the intensity impulse response. We concern ourselves only with the Rayleigh and Sparrow criteria for two-point resolution; more sophisticated image quality criteria will be discussed in Chapter 19.
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