You are here

Next Generation Field Calibration Suite for Radiometric Sensors


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber


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: The objective of this topic is to design and construct a system that provides a mobile trailer, outfitted with an array of extended blackbody sources with aperture areas of 24”x24” or greater, for the purpose of field reference calibration data for radiometric imagers.


DESCRIPTION: Radiometric Imager calibrations are required for accurate signature data of air and ground targets, as well as airborne strategic expendables (e.g., flares and chaff). Calibration requires a truth source called a blackbody that emits heat across an extended panel.

The goal for this project is to provide better truth sources, with more pixels on source for banded radiometers on the test range.


The requirement is a mobile lab with an array of six to eight black body source panels, each with an extended area aperture of 24” or greater and a temperature range of a temperature span from ambient to 600° C variable by panel. Temperature readings and controls need to be controllable from a remote interface located in the imagers control area.


The blackbody should be installed in a manner that makes them visible by a tracking mount holding radiometric imagers at a minimum distance of 100 yards. Blackbody sources should have a probe well for the purpose of self-calibration and temperature reading verification.


PHASE I: Awardee(s) will determine the feasibility of mounting large frame blackbodies to a mobile structure. Questions for which answers will be sought include:

  1. What blackbodies will be used to meet our requirements?
  2. What type of mobile platform to carry the blackbodies?
  3. How will the blackbodies be controlled remotely? What operating and maintenance requirements would be involved in the upkeep of the system?


PHASE II: The questions answered in Phase l will serve as the foundation for the prototype delivered in Phase ll. The prototype will be some sort of ground based trailer, towed by a government pick up truck, and capable of housing the required blackbodies.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The proposed trailer can be adapted to fit a wide variety of needs within the DoD. The device will also provide valuable data that could be of interest to various academic institutions and weather organizations. In Phase lll, efforts will be made to identify any other organizations who might be interested in using this device.



  1. Berk, A., P.K. Acharya, L.S. Bernstein, G.P. Anderson, P. Lewis, J.H. Chetwynd, and M.L. Hoke, "Band Model Method for Modeling Atmospheric Propagation at Arbitrarily Fine Spectral Resolution";


KEYWORDS: Infrared; Blackbody; Calibration; longwave Infrared; MWIR; LWIR; UV; ASTE; IRCM; Signature; Radiometric; Radiometer; Extended Area; Aperture; Radiation; Emitter

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government