19 September 2016 LWIR pupil imaging and longer-term calibration stability
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Abstract
A previous paper described LWIR pupil imaging, and an improved understanding of the behavior of this type of sensor for which the high-sensitivity focal plane array (FPA) operated at higher flux levels includes a reversal in signal integration polarity. We have since considered a candidate methodology for efficient, long-term calibration stability that exploits the following two properties of pupil imaging: (1) a fixed pupil position on the FPA, and (2) signal levels from the scene imposed on significant but fixed LWIR background levels. These two properties serve to keep each pixel operating over a limited dynamic range that corresponds to its location in the pupil and to the signal levels generated at this location by the lower and upper calibration flux levels. Exploiting this property for which each pixel of the Pupil Imager operates over its limited dynamic range, the signal polarity reversal between low and high flux pixels, which occurs for a circular region of pixels near the upper edges of the pupil illumination profile, can be rectified to unipolar integration with a two-level non-uniformity correction (NUC). Images corrected real-time with standard non-uniformity correction (NUC) techniques, are still subject to longer-term drifts in pixel offsets between recalibrations. Long-term calibration stability might then be achieved using either a scene-based non-uniformity correction approach, or with periodic repointing for off-source background estimation and subtraction. Either approach requires dithering of the field of view, by sub-pixel amounts for the first method, or by large off-source motions outside the 0.38 milliradian FOV for the latter method. We report on the results of investigations along both these lines.
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Paul D. LeVan, Paul D. LeVan, Ünal Sakoglu, Ünal Sakoglu, "LWIR pupil imaging and longer-term calibration stability", Proc. SPIE 9974, Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications VI, 99740S (19 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2237899; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2237899
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