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6 May 2009 Calibration of on-orbit IR sensors by off-board illumination of neighboring satellites
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Space borne overhead non-imaging (non-focusing) infrared (ONIR) sensors require on-orbit calibration to validate performance of sensor payloads. Typically this is accomplished by the use of ground based observations including laser illumination of the calibrated sensor. This provides a-priori knowledge of the laser characteristics and atmospheric propagation thereby providing the sensor operators a method for deducing the true system level performance. Of concern is the need to avoid laser illumination of other satellites to prevent inadvertent damage or temporary mission degradation. The complex predictive avoidance process is necessarily bureaucratic and time-consuming due to the need to entertain the interests of multiple stakeholders. Herein is described a method for mutual calibration of co-orbital ONIR sensors by use of incoherent off-board illumination of a sample with known spectral reflectivity. The method will not involve laser illumination, will be less threatening to neighboring spacecraft, and will not require predictive avoidance processes.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Munson A. Kwok, Lorraine E. Ryan, Randy M. Villahermosa, and Joseph L. Cox "Calibration of on-orbit IR sensors by off-board illumination of neighboring satellites", Proc. SPIE 7330, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications III, 73300B (6 May 2009);

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