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Infrared filters for space-flight focal plane array applications

G J Hawkins, R Hunneman, C Cole

SPIE Proceedings, 2253, Pages 333-347 (1994)


Infrared filters and coatings have been employed on many sensing radiometer instruments to measure the thermal emission profiles and concentrations of certain chemical constituents found in planetary atmospheres. The High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS) is an example of the most recent developments in limb-viewing radiometry by employing a cooled focal plane detector array to provide simultaneous multi-channel monitoring of emission from gas and aerosols over an altitude range between 8 - 70 km.

The use of spectrally selective cooled detectors in focal plane arrays has simplified the optical layout of radiometers, greatly reducing the number of components in the optical train. this has inevitably led to increased demands for the environmental durability of the focal plane filters because of the need to cut sub-millimetre sizes, whilst maintaining an optimal spectral performance. Additionally the remaining refractive optical elements require antireflection coatings which must cover the entire spectral range of the focal plane array channels, in this case 6 to 18┬Ám, with a minimum of reflection and absorption.

This paper describes the optical layout and spectral design requirements for filtering in the HIRDLS instrument, and reports progress on the manufacturing and testing of the sub-millimetre sized cooled filters. We also report on the spectral and environmental performance of prototype wideband antireflection coatings which satisfy the requirements above.

DOI: 10.1117/12.192103

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