We develop models and simulation software to predict electro-optical system performance

Research Group Sensor Simulation

Developing realistic models of the image formation and imaging systems for the visible and infrared spectral range is at the heart of our research. Our main focus lies on long-range imaging through the atmosphere. We analyze and model the entire imaging chain ­– starting with the scene, through the atmosphere, optics, sensor and signal processing to the display and the observer.

Based on our knowledge and experience, we develop realistic simulations to evaluate the performance of electro-optical systems. Considered performance metrics range from laboratory measured quantities such as the signal-to-noise ratio, modulation transfer functions, and minimal temperature difference perceived over range performances to the simulation and evaluation of expected output images. Typical applications for our software are:

  • analysis and evaluation of design concepts for electro-optical systems,
  • assessment of the influence of environmental conditions and the scene on the electro-optical system performance,
  • specification of the performance of electro-optical systems, e.g. by calculated detection, recognition and identification ranges.   

Technically, we mainly work with three different approaches:

  • analytical models, such as TRM4, which are based on linear system theory and an abstract description of the scene,
  • imaging simulations, such as OSIS, which implement the physical effects along the imaging chain by a stepwise modification of a high-resolution input image of the scene,
  • methods for the performance evaluation of electro-optical systems based on generated image data.

We also apply latest machine learning methods such as convolutional neural networks for our imaging simulations and approaches to image-based performance assessment.

In cooperation with the experimental research groups in the Optronics department, we check the predictions of our models and simulations against results from laboratory measurements and field tests.

Projects and software


Range performance model TRM4


Customized TRM4 Batch Module


Simulation of electro-optical systems


Obtaining a license for TRM4

This website contains detailed instructions on how to obtain a license for TRM4. It also presents a short summary of the corresponding license agreement.


TRM4 training courses

Fraunhofer IOSB offers training courses for TRM4 on a regular basis. These courses are intended for TRM4 beginners and consist of lectures and hands-on exercises.

Further information



Sensor Simulation


Do you have any questions about our research topic or are you interested in a collaboration? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are pleased to support you with our competencies.


Department Optronics

You want to learn more about our products and competences? Then visit the page of our Optronics department.