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Proceedings Paper

New Method For Thermal Testing Of Infrared Sensors
Author(s): Denys Gontard; David F. Rowe; Mark T. Biggie
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a technique for conducting environmental tests of multi-spectral sensor systems. The method combines the advantages of field tests and the economics of laboratory experiments to provide an accurate test bed for predicting system performance for a wide range of temperatures. It consists of placing the system inside a carefully controlled temperature chamber while the sensors observe real-world targets in the field. The major difficulty in this type of test, i.e. the problem of finding a chamber window which will remain functional over the desired temperature and wavelength range, has been overcome. The solution, which was shown to work quite well, is to utilize a Nitrogen gas window to prevent fogging at cold temperatures. The line-of-sight (LOS) deviations introduced by this window are extremely small at all wavelengths. This paper also describes the insulated mounted scheme, the temperature controls, and the chamber design. Test data establishing the optical performance of the thermal system under a wide range of temperatures (-45C to 70C) and wavelengths (0.4 to 11 micrometers) have demonstrated that this method is technically superior to field testing, at a much lower cost.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 January 1990
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1157, Infrared Technology XV, (8 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.978578
Show Author Affiliations
Denys Gontard, Martin Marietta Electronics & Missiles Group (United States)
David F. Rowe, Martin Marietta Electronics & Missiles Group (United States)
Mark T. Biggie, Martin Marietta Electronics & Missiles Group (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1157:
Infrared Technology XV
Irving J. Spiro, Editor(s)

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