The SWIR waveband between 0.8μm-1.8μm is getting increasingly exploited by imaging systems in a variety of different applications, including persistent imaging for security and surveillance of high-value assets, handheld tactical imagers, range-gated imaging systems and imaging LADAR for driverless vehicles. The vast majority of these applications utilize lattice-matched InGaAs detectors in their imaging sensors, and these sensors are rapidly falling in price, leading to their widening adoption. As these sensors are used in novel applications and locations, it is important that ambient SWIR backgrounds be understood and characterized for a variety of different field conditions, primarily for the purposes of system performance modeling of SNR and range metrics. SWIR irradiance backgrounds do not consistently track visible-light illumination at all. There is currently little of this type of information in the open literature, particularly measurements of SWIR backgrounds in urban areas, natural areas, or indoors. This paper presents field measurements done with an InGaAs detector calibrated in the swux unit of InGaAs-band-specific irradiance proposed by two of the authors in 2017. Simultaneous measurements of illuminance levels (in lux) at these sites are presented, as well as visible and InGaAs camera images of the scenery at some of these measurement sites. The swux and lux measurement hardware is described, along with the methods used to calibrate it. Finally, the swux levels during the partial and total phases of the total solar eclipse of 2017 are presented, along with curves fitted to the data from a theoretical model, based on obscuration of the sun by the moon. The apparent differences between photometric and swux measurements will be discussed.
A. Richards, M. Hübner, and M. Vollmer, "Measurements of SWIR backgrounds using the swux unit of measure," Proc. SPIE 10625, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXIX, 106250P (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 18, 2018; Published: 26 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2305282.
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