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Proceedings Paper

Thermo-optical characterization of a low-background infrared chamber and wideband infrared scene projector (WISP) array for hardware-in-the-loop testing
Author(s): Jack R. Lippert; David S. Flynn; Lawrence E. Jones; James R. Kircher
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Paper Abstract

The KHILS Vacuum Cold Chamber (KVACC) provides the capability of testing IR seekers with scenes involving a `cold' background, more closely simulating a high altitude/exoatmospheric engagement. During the past year, a gaseous helium refrigeration system has been installed to simplify the logistics of cooling the chamber. An antechamber has also been installed to serve as a chamber for the sensor under test. A WISP array was installed in the Source Chamber. A thermal control system was developed by connecting the array to a cold surface by way of a thermal choke, then actively controlling the temperature with heating elements. This made it possible to operate the array at user selected, stable substrate temperatures ranging from ambient temperature to below 150 K. This capability makes it possible to select the infrared background level that the array operates at, and to operate with background levels that are adequate for testing the high altitude/exoatmospheric engagements. WISP arrays were designed for room temperature operation, but predicted performance at reduced temperatures appears acceptable. Tests were performed with a Phase I prototype WISP array inside the KVACC Source Chamber. Data on this array's radiometric response at various substrate temperatures are presented. It is demonstrated that the arrays can be operated at substrate temperatures as low as 145 K. Currently two Phase 3 WISP arrays and a dichroic beam combiner are being installed in the Source Chamber for 2- color testing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3697, Technologies for Synthetic Environments: Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing IV, (19 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.352907
Show Author Affiliations
Jack R. Lippert, Computer Science and Applications, Inc. (United States)
David S. Flynn, Seeker Technologies Inc. (United States)
Lawrence E. Jones, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
James R. Kircher, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3697:
Technologies for Synthetic Environments: Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing IV
Robert Lee Murrer Jr., Editor(s)

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