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Proceedings Paper

Characterization and optimization of infrared-imager detector response for long-path research
Author(s): Frank T. Kantrowitz; Wendell R. Watkins; Daniel R. Billingsley; Fernando R. Palacios
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Paper Abstract

Many commercially available infrared imagers utilizing mercury-cadmium-telluride scanning detectors are not optimized for long pathlength atmospheric research. At imaging ranges of 1 or more kilometers, path radiance due to emissions from atmospheric constituents such as H20 and CO2 can be a significant contributor to a poor signal to noise ratio. Through proper doping of the detector and cold finger filtering, there is an increase in the magnitude of the propagated, system weighted target radiance and a much more favorable ratio of propagated target to path radiance which directly affects the image quality. Thus, it is necessary when optimizing an imaging system to consider both atmospheric path radiance and detector response. This paper presents a methodology which has resulted in a computer program which provides such optimizations. A first generation modification has been developed at the Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory and preliminary results show an enhancement of target to background apparent temperature or delta T in the 8 to 12 micron region. In the 3 to 5 micron region, it was readily apparent that the modification did not achieve the desired results (especially during winter weather conditions). In order to provide a solution to this problem, a technique was developed to characterize the detector response without the necessity of its removal from the system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1990
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 1311, Characterization, Propagation, and Simulation of Infrared Scenes, (1 September 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.21860
Show Author Affiliations
Frank T. Kantrowitz, U.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Lab (United States)
Wendell R. Watkins, U.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Lab (United States)
Daniel R. Billingsley, U.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Lab (United States)
Fernando R. Palacios, U.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Lab (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1311:
Characterization, Propagation, and Simulation of Infrared Scenes
Milton J. Triplett; Wendell R. Watkins; Ferdinand H. Zegel, Editor(s)

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