Many existing and emerging remote sensing applications in the UV, Visible, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR regions are challenging the conventional thinking of radiance and temperature calibration techniques. While the relationship between blackbody temperature and optical radiation is well understood, often there is an “invisible” dividing line between treatments of these values as either optical radiance or temperature. It is difficult to perform seamless temperature and radiance calibrations across the point of 2.5um. Spectrum above 2.5um is typically related in temperature terms and below 2.5um may be either spoken of in terms of temperature or optical radiance. There is also a natural unit “convergence” issue at 2.5um, due to the crossover of significant levels of emissivity, reflectance and temperature at this point. NMI traceability in the spectral region of 2.5-14.0um can also be a problem especially for spectral radiance. This paper will outline a possible turn-key test bench solution that provides traceable solutions for both temperature and radiance value in these regimes. The intent of this paper is to offer a possible solution and challenge the infrastructure that exists today over the 0.3-14um range in order to obtain a valid spectral radiance or temperature value, or both, to support emerging sensor fusion technology.
The Future E-O (FEO) program was established to develop a flexible, modular, automated test capability as part of the Next Generation Automatic Test System (NGATS) program to support the test and diagnostic needs of currently fielded U.S. Army electro-optical (E-O) devices, as well as being expandable to address the requirements of future Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force E-O systems. Santa Barbara infrared (SBIR) has designed, fabricated, and delivered three (3) prototype FEO for engineering and logistics evaluation prior to anticipated full-scale production beginning in 2016. In addition to presenting a detailed overview of the FEO system hardware design, features and testing capabilities, the integration of SBIR’s EO-IR sensor and laser test software package, IRWindows 4™, into FEO to automate the test execution, data collection and analysis, archiving and reporting of results is also described.
Raytheon has developed a 3rd-Generation FLIR Sensor Engine (3GFSE) for advanced U.S. Army systems. The sensor
engine is based around a compact, productized detector-dewar assembly incorporating a 640 x 480 staring dual-band
(MW/LWIR) focal plane array (FPA) and a dual-aperture coldshield mechanism. The capability to switch the
coldshield aperture and operate at either of two widely-varying f/#s will enable future multi-mode tactical systems to
more fully exploit the many operational advantages offered by dual-band FPAs. RVS has previously demonstrated high-performance
dual-band MW/LWIR FPAs in 640 x 480 and 1280 x 720 formats with 20 μm pitch. The 3GFSE includes
compact electronics that operate the dual-band FPA and variable-aperture mechanism, and perform 14-bit analog-to-digital
conversion of the FPA output video. Digital signal processing electronics perform "fixed" two-point non-uniformity
correction (NUC) of the video from both bands and optional dynamic scene-based NUC; advanced
enhancement processing of the output video is also supported. The dewar-electronics assembly measures approximately
4.75 x 2.25 x 1.75 inches. A compact, high-performance linear cooler and cooler electronics module provide the
necessary FPA cooling over a military environmental temperature range. 3GFSE units are currently being assembled
and integrated at RVS, with the first units planned for delivery to the US Army.
Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) has developed and demonstrated the first-ever 1280 x 720 pixel dual-band MW/LWIR
focal plane arrays (FPA) to support 3rd-Generation tactical IR systems under the U.S. Army's Dual-Band FPA
Manufacturing (DBFM) program. The MW/LWIR detector arrays are fabricated from MBE-grown HgCdTe triple-layer
heterojunction (TLHJ) wafers. The RVS dual-band FPA architecture provides highly simultaneous temporal detection in
the MWIR and LWIR bands using time-division multiplexed integration (TDMI) incorporated into the readout integrated
circuit (ROIC). The TDMI ROIC incorporates a high degree of integration and output flexibility, and supports both
dual-band and single-band full-frame operating modes, as well as high-speed LWIR "window" operation at 480 Hz
frame rate. The ROIC is hybridized to a two-color detector array using a single indium interconnect per pixel, which
makes it highly producible for 20 μm unit cells and exploits mature fabrication processes currently used to produce
single-color FPAs. High-quality 1280 x 720 MW/LWIR FPAs have been fabricated and excellent dual-band imagery
produced at 60 Hz frame rate. The 1280 x 720 detector arrays for these FPAs have LWIR cutoff wavelengths ≥10.5 μm
at 78K. These FPAs have demonstrated high-sensitivity at 78K with MW NETD values < 20 mK and LW NETD values
<30 mK with f/3.5 apertures. Pixel operability greater than 99.9% has been achieved in the MW band and greater than
98% in the LW band.