Focal Plane Characterization

Focal plane arrays have inherent deficiencies that prove to be undesirable when used in imaging systems designed to measure real world phenomena. SDL uses proven calibration techniques to calculate and (if needed) correct for deficiencies so focal plane arrays will produce accurate scientific data.


  • Radiometric responsivity
    • Radiance and irradiance
    • Response linearity with uniformity corrections
    • Nominal/outlying pixel identification
  • Sensor-level relative spectral response (RSR)
  • Spatial responsivity
    • Point response function (PRF)
    • Effective field of view (FOV)
    • Optical distortion
    • Scatter
  • Closely-spaced object (CS) response
  • Temporal responsivity
    • Short, medium, and long-term repeatability
    • Frequency response
  • Polarization sensitivity
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Noise
    • Dark current, offset, non-uniformity
    • Read noise
    • Fixed pattern
  • Performance metrics
    • Gain
    • Well depth
    • Dynamic range
    • Saturation point
    • Spatial resolution (MTF)
    • Photon counting (UV)



Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

The WISE cryogenically-cooled infrared telescope provided a complete stellar infrared map more than 1,000 times more detailed than previous surveys.


Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer

GIFTS was successfully tested and calibrated as an engineering demonstration unit to ground-validate technologies critical to NOAA’s Hyperspectral Environmental Suite for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system.


Commercially Hosted Infrared Program

CHIRP was a flight demonstration program to provide risk reduction for the United States Air Force (USAF) Third Generation Infrared Surveillance (3GIRS) system.


Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope

SPIRIT III was the infrared sensor aboard MDA’s Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX). This long-wave infrared instrumentation package consisted of a high spatial resolution radiometer, a high spectral resolution interferometer-spectrometer, and an extremely high-off-axis-rejection telescope.


Far-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Troposphere

FIRST is a long–wave imaging spectrometer that measures between 10–100 µm, filling a gap in the existing systems that monitored the Earth’s climate.


Near Field Infrared Experiment

NFIRE was designed to collect infrared imagery of boosting intercontinental ballistic missiles to validate models and simulations that support the development of guidance and homing algorithms.


Space Based Infrared System

SBIRS High is a two-tier remote sensing satellite system working with other US defense systems to provide global below- and above-the-horizon detection as well as tracking and discrimination of missiles in their boost, post-boost, midcourse and reentry phases of flight.