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Proceedings Paper

A comprehensive model for bolometer element and uncooled array design and imaging sensor performance prediction
Author(s): Robert Richwine; Raymond Balcerak; Chuck Rapach; Ken Freyvogel; Ashok Sood
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Paper Abstract

This paper reports on a model developed to predict bolometer performance in its environment, where the environment consists of thermal, optical and electrical components. Two complementary methods were employed to predict performance. The first solves the heat balance equation for the bolometer in its circuit and its thermal environment with known values of heat capacitance, thermal conductance, absorptance, temperature coefficient of resistance and the userdefined bias current (either constant or pulsed). This iteration yields a bolometer temperature rise, and a corresponding change in resistance and voltage. This is the signal part of the equation. The second method is required to calculate the total bolometer noise. It uses equations derived from the literature to predict bolometer noise, response, NEP and NETD from first principles for the four types of noise generated in thermal detectors (thermal fluctuation noise, background fluctuation noise, johnson noise and 1/f noise). Thermal conductance and heat capacities are calculated using all the elements of the bolometer structure such as the silicon nitride structure, the VOx coating, and the nichrome electrical leads. Using a calculation of the full spectral irradiance on the bolometer from the scene and the dewar and a userdefined bolometer element spectral absorption, the model will accurately assess performance in any environment. The model also employs a 3-D noise model and provides synthetic images of PSF-blurred bar targets for NETD and MRTD predictions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6294, Infrared and Photoelectronic Imagers and Detector Devices II, 62940F (7 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682836
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Richwine, Pennsylvania State Electro-Optics Ctr. (United States)
Raymond Balcerak, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)
Chuck Rapach, Pennsylvania State Electro-Optics Ctr. (United States)
Ken Freyvogel, Pennsylvania State Electro-Optics Ctr. (United States)
Ashok Sood, Magnolia Optical Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6294:
Infrared and Photoelectronic Imagers and Detector Devices II
Randolph E. Longshore; Ashok Sood, Editor(s)

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