Infrared optical coatings for the EarthCARE Multispectral Imager
G J Hawkins, D Woods, R E Sherwood, K Djotni
Applied Optics, Vol. 53, Issue 27, pp. 6983-6992 (2014)
The Earth Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer mission (EarthCARE) Multispectral Imager (MSI) is a radiometric instrument designed to provide the imaging of the atmospheric cloud cover and the cloud top surface temperature from a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit. The MSI forms part of a suite of four instruments destined to support the European Space Agency Living Planet mission on-board the EarthCARE satellite payload to be launched in 2016, whose synergy will be used to construct three-dimensional scenes, textures and temperatures of atmospheric clouds and aerosols. The MSI instrument contains seven channels: four solar channels to measure visible and short-wave infrared wavelengths, and three channels to measure infrared thermal emission. In this paper, we describe the optical layout of the infrared instrument channels, thin-film multilayer designs, the coating deposition method and the spectral system throughput for the bandpass interference filters, dichroic beam splitters, lenses and mirror coatings to discriminate wavelengths at 8.8, 10.8, & 12.0 µm. The rationale for the selection of thin-film materials, spectral measurement technique, and environmental testing performance are also presented.