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Proceedings Paper

Thermistor bolometer radiometer signal contamination due to parasitic heat diffusion
Author(s): Kory J. Priestley; J. Robert Mahan; Martial P.A. Haeffelin; Maxim Savransky; Tai K. Nguyen
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Paper Abstract

Current efforts are directed at creating a high-level end-to-end numerical model of scanning thermistor bolometer radiometers of the type used in the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) and planned for the clouds and the earth's radiative energy system (CERES) platforms. The first-principle model accurately represents the physical processes relating the electrical signal output to the radiative flux incident to the instrument aperture as well as to the instrument thermal environment. Such models are useful for the optimal design of calibration procedures, data reduction strategies, and the instruments themselves. The modeled thermistor bolometer detectors are approximately 40 micrometers thick and consist of an absorber layer, the thermistor layer, and a thermal impedance layer bonded to a thick aluminum substrate which acts as a heat sink. Thermal and electrical diffusion in the thermistor bolometer detectors is represented by a several-hundred-node- finite-difference formulation, and the temperature field within the aluminum substrate is computed using the finite-element method. The detectors are electrically connected in adjacent arms of a two-active-arm bridge circuit so that the effects of common mode thermal noise are minimized. However, because of a combination of thermistor self heating, loading of the bridge by the bridge amplifier, and the nonlinear thermistor resistance-temperature relationship, bridge deflections can still be provoked by substrate temperature changes, even when the change is uniform across the substrate. Of course, transient temperature gradients which may occur in the substrate between the two detectors will be falsely interpreted as a radiation input. The paper represents the results of an investigation to define the degree of vulnerability of thermistor bolometer radiometers to false signals provoked by uncontrolled temperature fluctuations in the substrate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 December 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2583, Advanced and Next-Generation Satellites, (15 December 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.228605
Show Author Affiliations
Kory J. Priestley, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
J. Robert Mahan, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Martial P.A. Haeffelin, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Maxim Savransky, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Tai K. Nguyen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2583:
Advanced and Next-Generation Satellites
Hiroyuki Fujisada; Martin N. Sweeting, Editor(s)

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