Since it was first introduced to the public in the early 1980's, the Lockheed Sensor Test Facility (STF) in Sunnyvale, California, has undergone a dramatic transformation from a highly labor intensive experiment to a fully automated, state-ofthe-art production LWIR sensor calibration laboratory. Radiometric traceability is assured with the first blackbody calibration by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST-formerly NBS), and the optical system has been thoroughly revamped to provide diffraction-limited performance in the infrared at wavelengths above 6 μm for LWIR sensors with input apertures to 15 cm. New, modern refrigeration equipment has been added, and the vacuum system has been thoroughly overhauled to provide a simulated exoatmospheric environment as low as 20 K absolute temperature and 10-8 torr absolute pressure.
This report traces the evolution of the STF during the last two years, and details the many enhancements and capabilities introduced in that period. The results of a two-year characterization and calibration activity are summarized, and a full description of capabilities and services available to the LWIR sensor community is included.