Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Michael A. Marciniak, PhD


The infrared (IR) imaging community has a need for direct IR detector evaluation due to the continued demand for small pixel pitch detectors, the emergence of strained-layer-super-lattice devices, and the associated lateral carrier diffusion issues. Conventional laser speckle-based modulation transfer function (MTF) estimation is dependent on Fresnel propagation and a wide-sense-stationary input random process, limiting the use of this approach for lambda (wavelength)-scale IR devices. This dissertation develops two alternative methodologies for speckle-based resolution evaluation of IR focal plane arrays (FPAs). Both techniques are formulated using Rayleigh-Sommerfield electric field propagation, making them valid in the non-paraxial geometries dictated for resolution estimation of lambda-scale devices. The generalized FPA MTF estimation approach numerically evaluates Rayleigh-Sommerfeld speckle irradiance autocorrelation functions (ACFs) to indirectly compute the power spectral density (PSD) of a non-wide-sense-stationary (WSS) speckle irradiance random process. The experimental error incurred by making WSS assumptions regarding the associated laser speckle random process is quantified utilizing the Wigner distribution function. This method is experimentally demonstrated on a lambda-scale longwave IR FPA, showing a 27% spatial frequency range improvement over established estimation methodology. Additionally, a resolution estimation approach, which utilizes an iterative maximum likelihood estimation approach and speckle irradiance ACFs to solve for a system impulse response, is developed and demonstrated with simulated speckle imagery.

AFIT Designator


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