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Design and Fabrication of Infrared Filters for Remote Sounding Instrumentation

G J Hawkins, R Hunneman

SPIE Proceedings, 2210, Pages 639-651 (1994)


Cooled infrared filters have been used in pressure modulation and filter radiometry to measure the dynamics, temperature distribution and concentrations of atmospheric elements in various satellite radiometers. Invariably such instruments use precision infrared bandpass filters and coatings for spectral selection, often operating at cryogenic temperatures. More recent developments in the use of spectrally-selective cooled detectors in focal plane arrays have simplified the optical layout and reduced the component count of radiometers but have placed additional demands on both the spectral and physical performance requirements of the filters.

This paper describes and contrasts the more traditional radiometers using discrete detectors with those which use focal plane detector array technology, with particular emphasis on the function of the filters and coatings in the two cases. Additionally we discuss the spectral techniques and materials used to fabricate infrared coatings and filters for use in space optics, and give examples of their application in the fabrication of some demanding long wavelength dichroics and filters.

We also discuss the effects of the space environment on the stability and durability of high performance infrared filters and materials exposed to low Earth orbit for 69 months on the NASA Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF).

DOI: 10.1117/12.188124

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