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Remote Sensing Group

The group establishes the detector-based scale for radiant power responsivity through cryogenic electrical substitution radiometry, and disseminates the scale to the remote sensing community via radiance and irradiance responsivity through the SIRCUS, hyperspectral imaging, and LBIR facilities. The group also establishes and disseminates measurement scales for optical/infrared properties of materials and performs supporting theoretical analysis.

The group’s mission is to realize the NIST detector-based radiometry scale through cryogenic electrical substitution radiometers and disseminate this scale via sensor responsivity calibrations to radiant power, irradiance, and/or radiance for customers seeking the highest accuracy possible. Sensors calibrated against the Primary Optical Watt Radiometer (POWR), which resides within the SIRCUS laboratory, are the basis of the NIST realization of the SI unit of the Candela and serve as reference radiometers at SIRCUS and other facilities at NIST. SIRCUS in turn serves as the basis for the NIST irradiance scale that calibrates FEL irradiance lamps and provides calibration for radiometers that serve the remote sensing community and others. The LBIR facility provides calibrations of blackbody and other sources and detectors that operate in a low-background infrared environment, typically in space-simulating vacuum chambers in which cryogenically-cooled interior shrouds surround the instruments. The group also establishes and disseminates measurement scales for infrared properties of materials and performs supporting theoretical analysis.



The Remote Sensing Group welcomes opportunities to collaborate on joint research, technology, and standards development projects to advance the characterization and calibration of remote sensing technology. The group provides multiple opportunities for students, scientists, industry, academia, and other R&D laboratories to collaborate. Specific opportunities depend on current areas of interest within the Group, but may include undergraduate research fellowship, postdoctoral fellowships, visiting scientist, and guest researchers as well as various cooperative research arrangements ranging from formal agreements, such as CRADA, Consortia, and interagency agreements, to informal collaborations. For more details, see Employment and Internship Opportunities and Collaboration Opportunities and the NRC post-doc site.

Projects and Programs

Hyperspectral Imaging Standards

Hyperspectral imaging as a field is in the process of maturing from a specialized tool to a routine method applied to many facets of society.

NIST Stars

NIST Stars is an Innovations in Measurement Science project to create a catalog of stars whose top-of-the-atmosphere spectral flux has an SI traceable

Tools and Instruments

SIRCUS facility and uncertainties

The basic SIRCUS calibration setup is shown at the right. The output from a tunable laser is sent through an intensity stabilizer, then through a 'speckle

News and Updates




Group Leader

Office Manager