2 May 2016 Infrared detectors for Earth observation
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Abstract
IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer), developed by CNES and launched since 2006 on the Metop satellites, is established as a major source of data for atmospheric science and weather prediction. The next generation - IASI NG - is a French national contribution to the Eumetsat Polar System Second Generation on board of the Metop second generation satellites and is under development by Airbus Defence and Space for CNES. The mission aim is to achieve twice the performance of the original IASI instrument in terms of sensitivity and spectral resolution. In turn, this places very demanding requirements on the infrared detectors for the new instrument. Selex ES in Southampton has been selected for the development of the infrared detector set for the IASI-NG instruments. The wide spectral range, 3.6 to 15.5 microns, is covered in four bands, each served by a dedicated detector design, with a common 4 x 4 array format of 1.3 mm square macropixels. Three of the bands up to 8.7 microns employ photovoltaic MCT (mercury cadmium telluride) technology and the very long wave band employs photoconductive MCT, in common with the approach taken between Airbus and Selex ES for the SEVIRI instrument on Second Generation Meteosat. For the photovoltaic detectors, the MCT crystal growth of heterojunction photodiodes is by the MOVPE technique (metal organic vapour phase epitaxy). Novel approaches have been taken to hardening the photovoltaic macropixels against localised crystal defects, and integrating transimpedance amplifiers for each macropixel into a full-custom silicon read out chip, which incorporates radiation hard design.
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K. Barnes, R. P. Davis, P. Knowles, N. Shorrocks, "Infrared detectors for Earth observation", Proc. SPIE 9881, Earth Observing Missions and Sensors: Development, Implementation, and Characterization IV, 988117 (2 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2229580; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2229580
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