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Proceedings Paper

Accurate blackbodies
Author(s): Harri M. Latvakoski; Mike Watson; Shane Topham; Deron Scott; Mike Wojcik; Gail Bingham
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Paper Abstract

Infrared radiometers and spectrometers generally use blackbodies for calibration, and with the high accuracy needs of upcoming missions, blackbodies capable of meeting strict accuracy requirements are needed. One such mission, the NASA climate science mission Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO), which will measure Earth's emitted spectral radiance from orbit, has an absolute accuracy requirement of 0.1 K (3σ) at 220 K over most of the thermal infrared. Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) has a blackbody design capable of meeting strict modern accuracy requirements. This design is relatively simple to build, was developed for use on the ground or onorbit, and is readily scalable for aperture size and required performance. These-high accuracy blackbodies are currently in use as a ground calibration unit and with a high-altitude balloon instrument. SDL is currently building a prototype blackbody to demonstrate the ability to achieve very high accuracy, and we expect it to have emissivity of ~0.9999 from 1.5 to 50 μm, temperature uncertainties of ~25 mK, and radiance uncertainties of ~10 mK due to temperature gradients. The high emissivity and low thermal gradient uncertainties are achieved through cavity design, while the low temperature uncertainty is attained by including phase change materials such as mercury, gallium, and water in the blackbody. Blackbody temperature sensors are calibrated at the melt points of these materials, which are determined by heating through their melt point. This allows absolute temperature calibration traceable to the SI temperature scale.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 773919 (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857171
Show Author Affiliations
Harri M. Latvakoski, Space Dynamics Lab., Utah State Univ. (United States)
Mike Watson, Space Dynamics Lab., Utah State Univ. (United States)
Shane Topham, Space Dynamics Lab., Utah State Univ. (United States)
Deron Scott, Space Dynamics Lab., Utah State Univ. (United States)
Mike Wojcik, Space Dynamics Lab., Utah State Univ. (United States)
Gail Bingham, Space Dynamics Lab., Utah State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7739:
Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation
Eli Atad-Ettedgui; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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