Reversible ageing effects in cryogenically-cooled infrared filter radiometers

E Theocharous, G J Hawkins, N P Fox

Infrared Physics & Technology 46 (2005) 339–349 (2005)

Abstract

In this paper we report the observation of drifts in the responsivity of cryogenically cooled InSb detector-based infrared filter radiometers which have very strong wavelength dependence. These drifts can result in the increase or decrease of the response of the filter radiometers by over 5%. The origin of these variations was investigated and was shown to arise due to a thin film of ice formed on the multi-layer bandpass filter used to define the spectral response of the filter radiometer. The thin layer of ice interacts with the characteristics of the filter (which itself consists of a number of thin layers) and modifies the filter spectral transmission thus modifying the response of the filter radiometer of which the filter is part of. These observations are particularly relevant to space instruments which use infrared filter radiometers for earth observation. Debris from the spacecraft engines is known to accumulate on cold surfaces of instruments carried on board. The deposition of this debris on cold filters can modify the spectral response of the instruments, which use these filters to define a spectral response.

DOI: 10.1016/j.infrared.2004.06.002

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