Why HD resolution rugged cameras on defense electro-optical systems?

Posted by Gretchen Alper on Thu, Sep 29, 2011

Electro-optical sensor modules with full HD resolution or higher, enhance the detection, recognition, and identification capabilities of situational awareness and designator systems.

HD video offers advantages over lower resolution camera or non video system options (unaided human eyes, binoculars, etc.).  [some information on this trend in my blog last week]

One goal is to increase the probability for identification from the same distance by increasing the resolution to HD or higher.  This is based on Johnson’s Criteria which describes the minimum number of pixels to give a 50 percent probability of an observer discriminating an object to the specified level.

Detection, orientation, recognition, and identification are defined as:

Discrimination Level



An object is present (object versus noise)


The object is approximately symmetrical or unsymmetrical and its orientation may be discerned (side view versus front view)


The class to which the object belongs (e.g tank, truck, man)


The object is discerned with sufficient clarity to specify type (e.g. T-52 tank, friendly jeep, etc.)

Source: CCD Arrays, Cameras, and Displays by Gerald C Holst, 1998.

As the video modules become more prevalent there are a variety of users with different levels of training.  So one of the biggest advantages of HD resolution and higher is the ability to increase the percentage of people who are able to identify an object rather than just detect it from the same distance.

Or another way to look at it would be that higher resolution increases the distance for an observer to be able to discriminate an object to a certain level.  This increases the distance from potential danger or gives more time to react to threats. 

The figure below demonstrates the influence of resolution on range and capabilities.


Adimec defense cameras rugged identification

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Topics: Vision System Optimization