The ratio of the sampling frequency to the optical bandpass limit of an incoherent diffraction-limited optical system is a fundamental
design parameter for digital imaging systems. This ratio is denoted by ?FN/p, where ? is the mean wavelength, FN is the system f/number,
and p is the detector sampling pitch. The value of ?FN/p for a remote sensing system can have a profound impact on the image quality and the
utility of the acquired images. The interaction between ?FN/p and image quality is sensitive to the system design parameters such as modulation
transfer function (MTF), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and ground sampled distance (GSD). Image simulations and analysis are presented that illustrate
the changes in image quality as a function of ?FN/p. System design trades that may influence the determination of the optimal lFN/p for
a remote sensing system are also discussed.