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Proceedings Paper

Characterization of photocathode dark current vs. temperature in image intensifier tube modules and intensified televisions
Author(s): Edward J. Bender; Michael V. Wood; Steve Hart; Gerald B. Heim; John A. Torgerson
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Paper Abstract

Image intensifiers (I2) have gained wide acceptance throughout the Army as the premier nighttime mobility sensor for the individual soldier, with over 200,000 fielded systems. There is increasing need, however, for such a sensor with a video output, so that it can be utilized in remote vehicle platforms, and/or can be electronically fused with other sensors. The image-intensified television (I2TV), typically consisting of an image intensifier tube coupled via fiber optic to a solid-state imaging array, has been the primary solution to this need. I2TV platforms in vehicles, however, can generate high internal heat loads and must operate in high-temperature environments. Intensifier tube dark current, called "Equivalent Background Input" or "EBI", is not a significant factor at room temperature, but can seriously degrade image contrast and intra-scene dynamic range at such high temperatures. Cooling of the intensifier's photocathode is the only practical solution to this problem. The US Army RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) and Ball Aerospace have collaborated in the reported effort to more rigorously characterize intensifier EBI versus temperature. NVESD performed non-imaging EBI measurements of Generation 2 and 3 tube modules over a large range of ambient temperature, while Ball performed an imaging evaluation of Generation 3 I2TVs over a similar temperature range. The findings and conclusions of this effort are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 October 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5563, Infrared Systems and Photoelectronic Technology, (21 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.562811
Show Author Affiliations
Edward J. Bender, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Michael V. Wood, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Steve Hart, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Gerald B. Heim, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
John A. Torgerson, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5563:
Infrared Systems and Photoelectronic Technology
C. Bruce Johnson; Eustace L. Dereniak; Robert E. Sampson, Editor(s)

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