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Calibration of spectral responsivity of IR detectors in the range from 0.6 µm to 24 µm



Vyacheslav B. Podobedov, George P. Eppeldauer, Leonard M. Hanssen, Thomas C. Larason


We report the upgraded performance of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) facility for spectral responsivity calibrations of infrared (IR) detectors in both radiant power and irradiance measurement modes. The extension of the wavelength range of the previous scale, below 0.8 µm and above 19 µm in radiant power mode as well as above 5.3 µm in irradiance mode, became available as a result of multiple improvements. The calibration facility was optimized for low-level radiant flux. A significantly reduced noise-equivalent-power and a relatively constant spectral response were achieved recently on newly developed pyroelectric detectors. Also, an efficient optical geometry was developed for calibration of the spectral irradiance responsivity without using an integrating sphere. Simultaneously, the upgrade and maintenance of the NIST transfer standards, with an extended spectral range, were supported by spectral reflectance measurements of a transfer standard pyroelectric detector using a custom integrating sphere and a Fourier transform spectrometer. The sphere reflectance measurements performed in a relative mode were compared to a bare gold-coated mirror reference, separately calibrated at the Fourier transform Infrared Spectrophotometry facility to 18 µm. Currently, the reflectance data for the pyroelectric standard, available in the range up to 30 µm, are supporting the absolute power responsivity scale by the propagation of the reflectance curve to the absolute tie-spectrum in the overlapping range. Typical examples of working standard pyroelectric-, Si-, MCT-, InSb- and InGaAs- detectors are presented and their optimal use for scale dissemination is analyzed.
Conference Dates
April 17-21, 2016
Conference Location
Baltimore, MD
Conference Title
SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing


IR spectral responsivity, detector, radiant power, irradiance, calibration, radiometry


Podobedov, V. , Eppeldauer, G. , Hanssen, L. and Larason, T. (2017), Calibration of spectral responsivity of IR detectors in the range from 0.6 µm to 24 µm, SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing, Baltimore, MD, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created June 15, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018