Certain applications in imaging photometry and radiometry require a telescope–detector system with (preferably constant) response over a wide spectral range from the ultraviolet through the infrared. We describe the design and characterization of the Solar Bolometric Imager (SBI), a 30-cm-aperture Dall–Kirkham telescope combined with a gold-blacked, 80,000-element thermal array detector. Our SBI prototype provides spectrally uniform imaging in total solar light (0.28–2.6 µm) of heat-flow inhomogeneities at the solar photosphere, with better than 5-arc sec angular resolution over a 6.5 × 13 arc min field of view. A balloon-borne SBI would avoid most atmospheric transmission variation over this spectral range, enabling accurate study of the sources of total irradiance variation.
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