By Vincent, John David
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Extra resources for Fundamentals of infrared and visible detector operation and testing
S/N does describe the conditions under which you are working: if you are trying to collect data with an S/N ratio of 3, I would not trust your results as much as if you had an S/N of 30, or, better yet, 300. 5 Noise-Equivalent Power NEP is a measure of the ultimate sensitivity of a given detector, and it is a convenient number to estimate what your S/N ratio will be if you know the power available. NEP is the power that must fall on the detector to cause an S/N of 1. If you have a power available 10 times the NEP, your S/N will be 10.
3) is convenient for predicting the minimum power a given system can detect, but it has some undesirable features. A good detector will have a small NEP, and detectors of different sizes and noise bandwidths will have different NEPs, so we cannot say in general what NEP a good detector should have unless we specify the area and noise bandwidth. Specific detectivity (D∗ )2 was introduced to eliminate those two “faults” – a large ∗ D is good, and for a given field of view and scene temperature all good thermal detectors should have about the same D∗ .
Electromagnetic radiation, including IR, involves sinusoidally varying electric fields. These fields are oriented perpendicular to the direction of travel, so any wave can be broken into two possible components. For example, if the wave is headed straight up, one component would include those whose electric fields were oriented east–west and the other would include the north–south fields. These two components are called the two polarizations. We discuss polarization only in the case of off-axis reflections in Chapter 14.
Fundamentals of infrared and visible detector operation and testing by Vincent, John David