focal plane array

Definition: Set of photo-detector elements placed at the focus of an imaging system and arranged variously as a linear array or two-dimensional matrix. * Most digital cameras conform to this arrangement, the exceptions being those that split the image into three components for colour separation.
Battle-lines are drawn up
The obvious way to array a matrix array is like rows of soldiers: one behind the other and next to each other. But there is another way: with each sensor behind the gap between the two in front: technically, each row is half a cycle out of phase. Geeky technicality? Far from it: this geometry has many advantages including better signal/noise ratio and slightly better resolution for the same number of detectors.

Related Terms: array

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