7 October 2014 Bandpass filter arrays patterned by photolithography for multispectral remote sensing
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Abstract
Optical remote sensing of the earth from air and space typically utilizes several channels from visible (VIS), near infrared (NIR) up to the short wave infrared (SWIR) spectral region. Thin-film optical filters are applied to select these channels. Filter wheels and arrays of discrete stripe filters are standard configurations. To achieve compact and light weight camera designs multi-channel filter plates or assemblies can be mounted close to the electronic detectors. Optics Balzers has implemented a micro-structuring process based on a sequence of multiple coatings and photolithography on the same substrate. High-performance band pass filters are applied by plasma assisted evaporation (plasma IAD) with advance plasma source (APS) technology and optical broad-band monitoring (BBM). This technology has already proven for various multi spectral imager (MSI) configurations on fused silica, sapphire and other substrates for remote sensing application. The optical filter design and performance is limited by the maximum coating thickness micro-structurable by photolithographic lift-off processes and by thermal and radiation load on the photoresist mask during the process Recent progress in image resolution and sensor selectivity requires improvements of optical filter performance. Blocking in the UV and NIR and in between the spectral cannels, in-band transmission and filter edge steepness are subject of current development. Technological limits of the IAD coating accuracy can be overcome by more precise coating technologies like plasma assisted reactive magnetron sputtering (PARMS) and combination with optical broadband monitoring (BBM). We present an overview about concepts and technologies for band-pass filter arrays for multi-spectral imaging at Optics Balzers. Recent performance improvements of filter arrays made by micro-structuring will be presented.
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T. Bauer, Heidi Thome, Thomas Eisenhammer, "Bandpass filter arrays patterned by photolithography for multispectral remote sensing", Proc. SPIE 9241, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVIII, 92411K (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2069596; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2069596
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