What Bandwidth Do I Need for My Image?

Adrian M. Price-Whelan, David W. Hogg
2010 Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific  
Computer representations of real numbers are necessarily discrete, with some finite resolution, discreteness, quantization, or minimum representable difference. We perform astrometric and photometric measurements on stars and co-add multiple observations of faint sources to demonstrate that essentially all of the scientific information in an optical astronomical image can be preserved or transmitted when the minimum representable difference is a factor of two finer than the root-variance of the
more » ... oot-variance of the per-pixel noise. Adopting a representation this coarse reduces bandwidth for data acquisition, transmission, or storage, or permits better use of the system dynamic range, without sacrificing any information for down-stream data analysis, including information on sources fainter than the minimum representable difference itself.
doi:10.1086/651009 fatcat:3dpctypu6fblzi5laitkaf4vge