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The detector is often called the heart of the infrared system. This is because the system itself is so dependent on the performance of the detector. In this chapter the ways in which detectors are described, and the different types and some properties of arrays, are discussed. Details of performance are left for other texts. See Appendix A.
The property of infrared detectors as transducers is usually described in terms of their responsivity. This may be given in volts per watt, amps per watt, electrons per watt second, or some equivalent terms. The ratio is always that of an output voltage or equivalent to an input radiant power or equivalent. These are not square-law detectors; they have a linear relationship between the radiant power in the input signal and the voltage or current in an output electrical signal.
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