Abstract

Step and stare imaging with staring arrays has become the main approach to realizing wide area coverage and high resolution imagery of potential targets. In this paper, a backscanning step and stare imaging system is described. Compared with traditional step and stare imaging systems, this system features a much higher frame rate by using a small-sized array. In order to meet the staring requirements, a fast steering mirror is employed to provide backscan motion to compensate for the image motion caused by the continuously scanning of the gimbal platform. According to the working principle, the control system is designed to step/stare the line of sight at a high frame rate with a high accuracy. Then a proof-of-concept backscanning step and stare imaging system is established with a CMOS camera. Finally, the modulation transfer function of the imaging system is measured by the slanted-edge method, and a quantitative analysis is made to evaluate the performance of image motion compensation. Experimental results confirm that both high frame rate and image quality improvement can be achieved by adopting this method.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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