The criteria that the military uses to develop its targeting and surveillance imagers may be useful to those who are developing other types of imaging systems, such as microscopes, machine vision systems, consumer digital cameras and surveillance cameras. Regardless of the application, a relationship exists between the optical sensor's field of view, its magnification, and its ability to provide data that is meaningful for visual discrimination tasks. In fact, the elements of "target acquisition" are the same for military uses as in the thousands of nonmilitary applications. Target acquisition is generally concerned with detecting, recognizing and identifying points of interest. For the military applications that are the primary focus of this article, "targets" might be vehicles or people. For an intelligent highway, the "target" might be a license plate or a window sticker. For a biologist, the "target" might be a cell or a portion of a cell.