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Proceedings Article

Calibration of ultra-low infrared power at NIST

[+] Author Affiliations
Solomon I. Woods, Raju U. Datla

National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA)

Stephen M. Carr, Timothy M. Jung

Jung Research and Development Corp. (USA)

Adriaan C. Carter

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. (USA)

Proc. SPIE 7742, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy IV, 77421P (July 20, 2010); doi:10.1117/12.857911
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From Conference Volume 7742

  • High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy IV
  • Andrew D. Holland; David A. Dorn
  • San Diego, California, USA | June 27, 2010


The Low Background Infrared (LBIR) facility has developed and tested the components of a new detector for calibration of infrared greater than 1 pW, with 0.1 % uncertainty. Calibration of such low powers could be valuable for the quantitative study of weak astronomical sources in the infrared. The pW-ACR is an absolute cryogenic radiometer (ACR) employing a high resolution transition edge sensor (TES) thermometer, ultra-weak thermal link and miniaturized receiver to achieve a noise level of around 1 fW at a temperature of 2 K. The novel thermometer employs the superconducting transition of a tin (Sn) core and has demonstrated a temperature noise floor less than 3 nK/Hz1/2. Using an applied magnetic field from an integrated solenoid to suppress the Sn transition temperature, the operating temperature of the thermometer can be tuned to any temperature below 3.6 K. The conical receiver is coated on the inside with infrared-absorbing paint and has a demonstrated absorptivity of 99.94 % at 10.6 μm. The thermal link is made from a thin-walled polyimide tube and has exhibited very low thermal conductance near 2x10-7 W/K. In tests with a heater mounted on the receiver, the receiver/thermal-link assembly demonstrated a thermal time constant of about 15 s. Based on these experimental results, it is estimated that an ACR containing these components can achieve noise levels below 1 fW, and the design of a radiometer merging the new thermometer, receiver and thermal link will be discussed.

© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

Solomon I. Woods ; Stephen M. Carr ; Adriaan C. Carter ; Timothy M. Jung and Raju U. Datla
"Calibration of ultra-low infrared power at NIST", Proc. SPIE 7742, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy IV, 77421P (July 20, 2010); doi:10.1117/12.857911; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.857911

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