Low Background Blackbody

Period of Performance: 05/14/2012 - 02/14/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

L'Garde, Inc.
15181 Woodlawn Avenue
Tustin, CA 92780
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: The sensitivity of tactical mid-wave imaging sensors has been shown to be extremely sensitive to background temperature. In our approach we cool down a 1m x 1m panel with a hole at its center through which a blackbody cavity simulator can radiate through. The front panel and blackbody cavity temperatures are controlled independently of each other. The blackbody cavity simulator system is hooked up to a PC which controls and maintains all the thermal parameters during the tests. During the Phase I study, (a) the blackbody cavity geometry will be optimized to produce an effective emissivity as close to unity as possible and (b)a proof-of-concept sub-scale engineering test unit will be built and tested. BENEFIT: A successful Phase I study will provide the jumping off point for a Phase II. During Phase II, we will perform a detailed design of the low-background blackbody system and build and test a prototype unit. Because all the components are off-the-shelf, the design activity is minimized and the fabrication, simplified. A successful Phase II will provide the user community with a low-cost low-background blackbody system that the Air Force and other branches of the military can use for the test and calibration of their midwave tactical imaging sensors. Research institutions and academia are also potential users of this technology as well as the commercial sectors. After all development work has been done, the community will have an inexpensive device for use in low-background blackbody test and measurements