Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:María Cristina Sánchez
Title:Optical Analysis of a Linear-Array Thermal Radiation Detector for Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget Applications
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Mechanical Engineering
Committee Chair: Dr. J. Robert Mahan
Committee Members:Dr. E. P. Scott
Dr. J. R. Thomas
Keywords:Linear-array thermal radiation detector, Monte-Carlo ray-trace method, cavity effect, optical cross-talk
Date of defense:March 6, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work immediately worldwide.


The Thermal Radiation Group, a laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is currently working to develop a new technology for thermal radiation detectors. The Group is also studying the viability of replacing current Earth Radiation Budget radiometers with this new concept. This next-generation detector consists of a thermopile linear array thermal radiation detector. The principal objective of this research is to develop an optical model for the detector and its cavity. The model based on the Monte-Carlo ray-trace (MCRT) method, permits parametric studies to optimize the design of the detector cavity and the specification of surface optical properties. The model is realized as a FORTRAN program which permits the calculation of quantities related to the cross-talk among pixels of the detector and radiation exchange among surfaces of the cavity. An important capability of the tool is that it provides estimates of the discrete Green's function that permits partial correction for optical cross-talk among pixels of the array.

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