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Derek A. Houtz, Dave K. Walker, Dazhen Gu


This paper discusses the design of a microwave blackbody to be used as a primary laboratory standard for passive remote sensing applications. The design is required to have excellent performance over the frequencies ranging from 10 GHz to 220 GHz and will be adjustable in temperature. We discuss the challenges involved in designing this type of calibration source and address how improvements can be made over the designs typically flown on airborne and space-borne instruments. A simplified electromagnetic model for absorber layer optimization is introduced as the precursor to a finite element full wave solution for the calculation of emissivity. A temperature simulation predicts the physical temperature of the blackbody and chamber. The simulated data are used as inputs to a rigorous calculation of the microwave brightness temperature radiated by the blackbody source. This calculation provides an estimate of the offset between measured physical temperature and radiometrically measured brightness temperature.
Proceedings Title
2015 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Conference Dates
July 26-31, 2015
Conference Location


remote sensing, blackbody, passive microwave, calibration, design, simulation


Houtz, D. , Walker, D. and Gu, D. (2015), SIMULATIONS TO CHARACTERIZE A PASSIVE MICROWAVE BLACKBODY DESIGN, 2015 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Milan, -1 (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created July 29, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017