The infrared test equipment industry has matured over the past half century and has historically offered test equipment
that met and often exceeded the capabilities of the units under test. This may seem to be a moot or trivial point.
However, in the past decade infrared imagers have begun to press the limits of infrared test equipment. Today, infrared
imagers incorporate focal plane arrays that offer a significantly higher resolution and sensitivity than their predecessors.
Additionally, current infrared imagers are expanding their role in the field and are being developed for a wide variety of
applications. These applications demand that optical infrared test equipment begin to expand their capability. Roles such
as: larger emitting surface areas, temperature ranges from cryogenic to sunlight, wide ambient temperature ranges,
vacuum ambient conditions, vehicle installation, field portability, computer interface compatibility, applications level
software integration, and high off-axis uniformity and emissivity. Therefore, how does infrared test equipment meet
these demands while maintaining excellent uniformity and stability, two of the traditionally most scrutinized
specifications? This paper will present methods for achieving the rigorous demands for test equipment outlined above, it
will present an outline of the development and technology trends of blackbody/infrared test equipment over the past 50
years, and finally this paper will discuss the expected development of blackbody/infrared test equipment for the years to