Optical sparse-aperture telescopes represent a promising new technology to increase the effective diameter of an optical system while reducing its weight and stowable size. The sub-apertures of a sparse-aperture system are phased to synthesize a telescope system that has a larger effective aperture than any of the independentsub-apertures. Sparse-apertures have mostly been modeled to date using a "gray-world" approximation where the input is a grayscale image. The gray-world model makes use of a "polychromatic" optical transfer function (OTF) where the spectral OTFs are averaged to form a single OTF. This OTF is then convolved with the grayscale image to create the resultant sparse-aperture image. The model proposed here uses a spectral image-cube as the input to create a panchromatic or multispectral result. These outputs better approximate an actual system because there is a higher spectral fidelity present than a gray-world model. Unlike its Cassegrain counterpart that has a well behaved OTF, the majority of sparse-aperture OTFs have very oscillatory and attenuated natures. When a spectral sparse-aperture model is used, spectral artifacts become apparent when thephasing errors increase beyond a certain threshold. This threshold can be based in part on the type of phasing error (i.e. piston, tip/tilt, and the amount present in each sub-aperture), as well as the collection conditions, including configuration, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and fill factor.This research addresses whether integrating a restored multispectral sparse-aperture image into a panchromatic image will decrease the amount of spectral artifacts present. The restored panchromatic image created from integrating multispectral images is compared to a conventional panchromatic sparse-aperture image. Conclusionsare drawn through image quality analysis and the change in spectral artifacts.

Publication Date



Copyright 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

We would like to thank Dr. David Messinger for his help and support. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus