A new long-wavelength infrared test facility is being developed at Ames Research Center to conduct proof-of-performance tests of focal plane arrays for the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) telescope. This facility is believed to be unique in that it will cali-brate full-sized arrays designed for the 5-120 µm region of the IR spectrum under simulated spaceflight conditions and at background levels as low as 8 x 106 photons/cm2 second. Most of the tests will be performed in a main test chamber which contains a liquid helium shroud, blackbody sources, an arrangement to simulate zodiacal background, and spot scanning optics. A noncontaminating high-vacuum pumping system will be used to evacuate the chamber prior to cool-down to prevent molecular deposition. All housekeeping and focal plane signal outputs are multiplexed, digitized, and transmitted on high-speed data lines to a PDP-11/70 computer. The computer provides real-time displays on a color CRT terminal and stores data for subsequent reduction and hard copy output. An overview of the conceptual design and performance specifications of the test facility are given.
Ernest J. lufer,
"Low Background Focal Plane Array Testing In The Far Infrared", Proc. SPIE 0132, Utilization of Infrared Detectors, (6 June 1978); doi: 10.1117/12.956056; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.956056