National imagery interpretation rating system and the probabilities of detection, recognition, and identification

Ronald G. Driggers, Paul Cox, Michael Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A large number of electro-optical (EO) and IR sensors are used on military platforms such as ground vehicles, low-altitude air vehicles high-altitude air vehicles, and satellite systems. Ground vehicle and low-altitude air vehicle (rotary and fixed-wing aircraft) sensors typically use the probabilities of discrimination (detection, recognition, and identification) as design requirements and system performance indicators. High-altitude air vehicles and satellite sensors have traditionally used national imagery interpretation rating system (NIIRS) performance measures for guidance in design and measures of system performance. Data from the high-altitude air vehicle and satellite sensors are now being made available to the warfighter for many applications including surveillance and targeting. National imagery offices are being merged and restructured to support the warfighters and connectivities to high-altitude air vehicle sensors more effectively. It is becoming more apparent that the qap between the NIIRS approach and the probabilities of discrimination approach must be addressed. Users, engineers, and analysts must have a comparative basis for assessing the image quality between the two classes of sensors. The two approaches are described and compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1952-1959
Number of pages8
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Imaging performance
  • Infrared systems
  • National imagery interpretation rating systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering(all)


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