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Proceedings Paper

Infrared Detector Performance In The Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)
Author(s): S. G. McCarthy; G. W. Autio
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Paper Abstract

The Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) will impose conditions on the infrared detectors in its focal plane instruments which are significantly different from the operat-ing conditions characteristic of ground-based systems. The tenuous atmosphere above the 400 km nominal flight altitude has no measurable absorption so that detectors operating at all wavelengths from 5µm to 1000µm can achieve high radiometric sensitivity. Emission of the atmosphere will be significant only in a few strong spectral lines. Emission from interplanetary dust is expected to be the limiting radiometric background in the region between 10µ and 30µ. Shuttle ejections, especially of water vapor and carbon dioxide must be strictly controlled in order to prevent the emission of these materials from limiting the telescope's sensitivity, and ejection of particles must be controlled to prevent their appearance as false targets. The telescope and detectors will be cooled to cryogenic temperatures in order to reduce telescope self-emission and to obtain preamplifier-noise-limited sensitivity. Charged particle radiation will generate false pulses which in the horns of the Van Allen belts and in the South Atlantic Anomaly may interfere with observations. Using an infrared camera as an example instrument, predictions of these detector operating conditions and resulting performance are presented for semiconductors (HgCdTe, Si:As, Ge:Ga) appropriate to the shorter wavelength bands (to 120µm), and for a Ge bolometer for the longer wavelength region.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 1978
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0132, Utilization of Infrared Detectors, (6 June 1978); doi: 10.1117/12.956060
Show Author Affiliations
S. G. McCarthy, Hughes Aircraft Company (United States)
G. W. Autio, Hughes Aircraft Company (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0132:
Utilization of Infrared Detectors
Irving J. Spiro, Editor(s)

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