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Open Access Imaging Applications of Noise Equivalent Quanta

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This paper explores how noise equivalent quanta (NEQ) can be estimated conveniently in digital imaging systems, and provides two very different examples of its application. A principal result is that, if an imaging system has a flat noise power spectrum (NPS) prior to down-sampling, and if pre-filtration is used to control aliasing while maintaining reasonable sharpness, the NPS will again become roughly flat after down-sampling, with the magnitude reduced by approximately the square of the down-sampling factor. This result allows the NEQ of a digital system to be conveniently estimated as the square of the product of the capture modulation transfer function (MTF), the linear pixel signal to noise ratio (SNR), the resampling factor, and the pre-filter MTF. Two examples of applications of this approximation are described: (1) understanding likely performance of pedestrian detection algorithms as a function of automotive image sensor properties; and (2) developing a new usability metric for mobile imaging, digital zoom factor, that combines the information contained in the commonly used parameters of megapixels and SNR10.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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  • For more than 30 years, the Electronic Imaging Symposium has been serving those in the broad community - from academia and industry - who work on imaging science and digital technologies. The breadth of the Symposium covers the entire imaging science ecosystem, from capture (sensors, camera) through image processing (image quality, color and appearance) to how we and our surrogate machines see and interpret images. Applications covered include augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, machine vision, data analysis, digital and mobile photography, security, virtual reality, and human vision. IS&T began sole sponsorship of the meeting in 2016. All papers presented at EIs 20+ conferences are open access.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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