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In order to understand the performance limits and calibration requirements of an instrument it is necessary to have an understanding of the nature of the detector array, its key performance parameters, and the way these are defined and measured. These are all considered in this chapter, which serves to introduce many of the detector terms that are discussed later in the guide. At first sight there is a confusing multitude of array types, parameters and definitions, and an extensive published literature; however, it is hoped that the discussion below can act as a basic summary and a pointer to references for further reading, should these be required.
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