2 May 2016 Design, development, characterization and qualification of infrared focal plane area array detectors for space-borne imaging applications
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Abstract
This paper discusses the design, development, characterization and qualification aspects of large format Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (IRFPA) required for panchromatic, multi-, hyper- and ultra-spectral imaging applications from a space-borne imager. Detection of feeble radiant flux from the intended target in narrow spectral bands requires a highly sensitive low noise sensor array with high well capacity. For this the photodiode arrays responsive in desired spectral band are grown using different growth techniques and flip-chip bonded with a suitable Si Read-out ICs (ROICs) for signal conditioning. IR detectors require cryogenic cooling to achieve background limited performance. Although passive radiative cooling is always the preferred choice of cooling in space, it is not suitable for cooling IRFPAs due to high thermal loads. To facilitate characterization of IRFPAs and cool them to desired cryogenic temperature, an Integrated Detector Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDDCA) is essential where the detector array sits over the cold tip of an active cooler and the detector cooler assembly is vacuum sealed in a thermally isolated Dewar. A cold shield above the sensor array inside the Dewar restricts its field-of-view and a cold filter fine tunes its spectral response. In this paper, various constituents of an IRFPA like sensor array materials, growth techniques, ROICs, filters, cold shields, cooling techniques etc., their types and selection criteria for different applications are discussed in detail. Design aspects of IRFPA characterization test bench, challenges involved in radiometric and spectral characterization and space qualification of such IDDCA based IRFPAs are also discussed.
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Ankur Jain, Arup Banerjee, "Design, development, characterization and qualification of infrared focal plane area array detectors for space-borne imaging applications", Proc. SPIE 9881, Earth Observing Missions and Sensors: Development, Implementation, and Characterization IV, 988114 (2 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2222994; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2222994
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