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MWIR/LWIR Detector Standards for Low-Radiometric-Power Calibration to Support Space-borne Imaging Sensor Calibration, Characterization, and Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Technology The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: Development of cryo-vacuum compatible low-power detectors (single-element or arrays) with intrinsic radiometric high-accuracy in the MWIR/LWIR range to provide NIST-traceable radiometric calibration and characterization of infrared space sensor systems. DESCRIPTION: Cryo-vacuum compatible low-power detectors (single-element or arrays) with intrinsic radiometric high-accuracy in the MWIR/LWIR range are needed to provide NIST-traceable radiometric calibration and characterization of infrared space sensor systems on an on-demand basis and at lower operational cost. The characterization of infrared sensors requires a well-known radiometric source to provide accurate levels of irradiance at the sensor aperture. Typically this is performed with a detector that is not intrinsically calibrated, in conjunction with a blackbody source that is radiometrically calibrated to a NIST-traceable standard. This process necessitates a complex test configuration with a potential source of stray radiation and a transfer calibration process, with infrequent and high cost NIST-traceable recalibrations. The calibration process would be much simpler, lower cost, and available on-demand using an intrinsically- or self-calibrated detector that has SI traceability. An array of such detectors would be highly desired that can be used as an in-situ scene projection monitor. Fast time response (0.1 sec) is desired, but not necessary for standard calibration activities. For use as an intrinsic detector standard, detector drift must be minimized. A flat, extremely well characterized and stable spectral response is preferred, but well-known spectral characterization will be considered. PHASE I: Provide a proof of principle design capable of providing a 1% radiometric calibration in the MWIR through LWIR (a flat response from 2 to 20 µm) with a per detector/pixel dynamic range of 1 pW to 50 nW and a 0.1% noise equivalent power. The detector package must designed to be suitable for use within the cryo-vacuum environment. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype detector system capable of providing 0.1% radiometric calibration in the MWIR through LWIR (a flat response from 2 to 20 µm) with a per detector/pixel dynamic range of 1 pW to 50 nW and a 0.1% noise equivalent power. The detector package must be suitable for use within the cryo-vacuum environment. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This technology will support enhanced test capability for military airborne and space-borne sensors. This Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government. REFERENCES: 1. 1. Nicholson, R.A., Mead, K.D., and Lowry, H.S., “Radiometric Calibration and Mission Simulation Testing of Sensor Systems in the AEDC 7V and 10V Chambers,” SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 6208-46 (2006).; 2. Ryan, R., et.al., “Methods for LWIR Radiometric Calibration and Characterization,” http://www.isprs.org/commission1/proceedings02/paper/RRyan_ISPRS2002.pdf; 3. T. R. Gentile, J. M. Houston, J. E. Hardis, C. L. Cromer, and A. C. Parr, “National Institute of Standards and Technology high accuracy cryogenic radiometer,” Appl. Opt. 35, 1056 – 1068 (1996).; 4. Podobedov V.B., Eppeldauer G.P.; Larason T.C.,” Evaluation of optical radiation detectors in the range from 0.8 µm to 20 µm at the NIST infrared spectral calibration facility” Proc. SPIE 8550, (2012); 5. Adriaan C. Carter, Steven R. Lorentz, Timothy M. Jung, and Raju U. Datla, “ACR II: Improved absolute cryogenic radiometer for low background infrared calibrations,” Appl. Opt. 44, 871 – 875 (2005) KEYWORDS: cryo-vacuum; infrared calibration; infrared detectors; imaging sensors; sensor testing; space simulation
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