Abstract

A fundamental limitation in using an artificial source of illumination for night viewing is backscatter by the atmosphere. This paper explores that limitation. A mathematical model of an active night vision system is constructed, and formulas for the signal received from a target and the backscatter caused by the intervening atmosphere are derived. Signal-to-noise ratio is defined, and its use as a measure of system performance is discussed. Several hypothetical systems are defined and graphs of the signal-to-noise ratio as a function of range are presented.

© 1969 Optical Society of America

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