The detection, determination of location, and identification of unknown and uncued energetic events within a large field of view represents a common operational requirement for many staring sensors. The traditional imaging approach involves forming an image of an extended scene and then rejecting background clutter. However, some important targets can be limited to a class of energetic, transient, point-like events, such as explosions, that embed key discriminants within their emitted, temporally varying spectra; for such events it is possible to create an alternative sensor architecture tuned specifically to these objects of interest. The resulting sensor operation, called pseudo imaging, includes: optical components designed to encode the scene information such that the spectral-temporal signature from the event and its location are easily derived; and signal processing intrinsic to the sensor to declare the presence of an event, locate the event, extract the event spectral-temporal signature, and match the signature to a library in order to identify the event. This treatise defines pseudo imaging, including formal specifications and requirements. Two examples of pseudo imaging sensors are presented: a sensor based on a spinning prism, and a sensor based on an optical element called a Crossed Dispersion Prism. The sensors are described, including how the sensors fulfill the definition of pseudo imaging, and measured data is presented to demonstrate functionality.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.