Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) in the Mid-Wave InfraRed (MWIR, 3-5 microns) can provide information on a variety of science applications from determining the chemical composition of lava lakes on Jupiter’s moon Io, to investigating the amount of carbon liberated into the Earth’s atmosphere during a wildfire. The limited signal available in the MWIR presents technical challenges to achieving high signal-to-noise ratios, and therefore it is typically necessary to cryogenically cool MWIR instruments. With recent improvements in microbolometer technology and emerging interferometric techniques, we have shown that uncooled microbolometers coupled with a Sagnac interferometer can achieve high signal-to-noise ratios for long-wave infrared HSI. To explore if this technique can be applied to the MWIR, this project, with funding from NASA, has built the Miniaturized Infrared Detector of Atmospheric Species (MIDAS). Standard characterization tests are used to compare MIDAS against a cryogenically cooled photon detector to evaluate the MIDAS instruments’ ability to quantify gas concentrations. Atmospheric radiative transfer codes are in development to explore the limitations of MIDAS and identify the range of science objectives that MIDAS will most likely excel at. We will simulate science applications with gas cells filled with varying gas concentrations and varying source temperatures to verify our results from lab characterization and our atmospheric modeling code.
Casey I. Honniball, Rob Wright, and Paul G. Lucey, "MWIR hyperspectral imaging with the MIDAS instrument," Proc. SPIE 10177, Infrared Technology and Applications XLIII, 101770J (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 09, 2017; Published: 9 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262464.
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