A four channel imaging radiometer is now operational as the first sensor on the U.S. Air Force 3.67-meter Advanced Electro Optical System (AEOS) telescope at the Maui Space Surveillance Site on Mt. Haleakala. The four AEOS Radiometer System (ARS) channels cover the visible/near infrared, MWIR (2.0 - 5.5 micrometers ), LWIR (7.9 - 13.2 micrometers ), and VLWIR (16.2 - 23 micrometers ). The bands are separated by dichroic mirrors that direct the visible channel into a cooled enclosure and the infrared channels into a common cryogenic Dewar. Interference filters separate each band into multiple subbands. A novel background suppression technique uses array data and a circular scan generated by the telescope secondary. The ARS design meets challenges in volume constraint on the trunnion, a low vibration cryogenic system, thermal dissipation control, internal calibration, remotely operating four integrated focal plane arrays, high frame rates with their attendant large data handling and processing requirements, and integration into an observatory wide control system. This paper describes the design, integration, and first light test results of the ARS at the AEOS facility.
The Phillips Laboratory Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) comprises an observatory facility, a united computer network, a 3.63 meter telescope, and an associated sensor suite that will become operational beginning in 1997. Space object identification is the primary mission for AEOS; however, astronomical applications and other visiting experiments are readily supported by the system design. The AEOS sensor suite functions derive from Air Force Space Command requirements, and incorporate high resolution imagery and multi-band radiometry performed over a broad range of wavelengths. Data collection capabilities are optimized for the rapid temporal variations in observed target brightness that arise from both intrinsic target variability and changing atmospheric characteristics during the course of an observation.