bandwidth and information

For space missions and any real-time electronics, bandwidth is limited. How do you set your bit depth or the relationship between your (limited) bits per pixel and the pixel intensity measurements to get the most information for your buck? Adrian Price-Whelan (NYU) and I worked on this problem all day today. Price-Whelan has some very nice results, based on simulated data, and the answer is, roughly, that you have transmitted all the information—even the information on sources much fainter than the noise—if your image noise is larger than about two bits.

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