12 May 2011 Advances in hyperspectral LWIR pushbroom imagers
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Abstract
Two long-wave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral imagers have been under extensive development. The first one utilizes a microbolometer focal plane array (FPA) and the second one is based on an Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) FPA. Both imagers employ a pushbroom imaging spectrograph with a transmission grating and on-axis optics. The main target has been to develop high performance instruments with good image quality and compact size for various industrial and remote sensing application requirements. A big challenge in realizing these goals without considerable cooling of the whole instrument is to control the instrument radiation. The challenge is much bigger in a hyperspectral instrument than in a broadband camera, because the optical signal from the target is spread spectrally, but the instrument radiation is not dispersed. Without any suppression, the instrument radiation can overwhelm the radiation from the target even by 1000 times. The means to handle the instrument radiation in the MCT imager include precise instrument temperature stabilization (but not cooling), efficient optical background suppression and the use of background-monitoring-on-chip (BMC) method. This approach has made possible the implementation of a high performance, extremely compact spectral imager in the 7.7 to 12.4 μm spectral range. The imager performance with 84 spectral bands and 384 spatial pixels has been experimentally verified and an excellent NESR of 14 mW/(m2srμm) at 10 μm wavelength with a 300 K target has been achieved. This results in SNR of more than 700. The LWIR imager based on a microbolometer detector array, first time introduced in 2009, has been upgraded. The sensitivity of the imager has improved drastically by a factor of 3 and SNR by about 15 %. It provides a rugged hyperspectral camera for chemical imaging applications in reflection mode in laboratory and industry.
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Hannu Holma, Hannu Holma, Antti-Jussi Mattila, Antti-Jussi Mattila, Timo Hyvärinen, Timo Hyvärinen, Oliver Weatherbee, Oliver Weatherbee, "Advances in hyperspectral LWIR pushbroom imagers", Proc. SPIE 8032, Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies IV, 80320X (12 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.884078; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.884078
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