I need to pick a Camera to see a target at ~5km. Visible Spectrum

Pixel size 5 microns (guessed). Range 5000m Target height 2m

IFOV = 0.125 m so I get 16 pixels on the target at 5000 m.

Focal Length = PixelSize/IFOV*Range = 0.2 m

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If you're trying to do this in anything other than a vacuum, by far your biggest problem is going to be distortions due to the air (assuming you can get sharp focus in the first place). \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall how could I mitigate that? Would it better to do it in IR/Thermal \$\endgroup\$
    – SS1
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd suggest reading How to photograph distant objects (10km) but tl;dr: you can't solve this problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 22:12
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ IR/thermal would be even more problematic than visible light unless you are in a very cold location with no wind, no dust or other particulates in the air, and very low moisture. Not even Antarctica fits that bill, as the winds are notoriously fierce most of the time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 1:11


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