A comprehensive radiometric characterization of raw-data format imagery acquired with the Raspberry Pi 3 and V2.1 camera module is presented. The Raspberry Pi is a high-performance single-board computer designed to educate and solve real-world problems. This small computer supports a camera module that uses a Sony IMX219 8 megapixel CMOS sensor. This paper shows that scientific and engineering-grade imagery can be produced with the Raspberry Pi 3 and its V2.1 camera module. Raw imagery is shown to be linear with exposure and gain (ISO), which is essential for scientific and engineering applications. Dark frame, noise, and exposure stability assessments along with flat fielding results, spectral response measurements, and absolute radiometric calibration results are described. This low-cost imaging sensor, when calibrated to produce scientific quality data, can be used in computer vision, biophotonics, remote sensing, astronomy, high dynamic range imaging, and security applications, to name a few.
In-flight measurements of spatial resolution were conducted as part of the NASA Scientific Data Purchase Verification and Validation process. Characterization included remote sensing image products with ground sample distance of 1 meter or less, such as those acquired with the panchromatic imager onboard the IKONOS satellite and the airborne ADAR System 5500 multispectral instrument. Final image products were used to evaluate the effects of both the image acquisition system and image post-processing. Spatial resolution was characterized by full width at half maximum of an edge-response-derived line spread function. The edge responses were analyzed using the tilted-edge technique that overcomes the spatial sampling limitations of the digital imaging systems. As an enhancement to existing algorithms, the slope of the edge response and the orientation of the edge target were determined by a single computational process. Adjacent black and white square panels, either painted on a flat surface or deployed as tarps, formed the ground-based edge targets used in the tests. Orientation of the deployable tarps was optimized beforehand, based on simulations of the imaging system. The effects of such factors as acquisition geometry, temporal variability, Modulation Transfer Function compensation, and ground sample distance on spatial resolution were investigated.