An experimental system in which correlated photons for radiometric measurements were used has been set up at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. We use visible-IR pairs of correlated photons produced by means of optical parametric downconversion to measure the radiance of a high-temperature IR source at 3.415 and 4.772 μm in an intrinsically absolute manner (i.e., without requiring any externally calibrated radiometric standard). To our knowledge, this is the only radiometric method with which one measures radiance directly, instead of using radiant power and aperture geometry measurements to deduce radiance indirectly. This technique has an additional unusual characteristic: It allows absolute radiometric measurements of IR radiation to be made with high-quality visible detectors. We compare measurements made with this technique with radiance measurements made with conventional means tied to existing radiometric standards. These comparisons show an average agreement to within ∼3% between the two methods. The results demonstrate an accuracy consistent with the estimated uncertainty of the current measurements. This is the first time to our knowledge that this method has been used to provide absolute radiance measurements of a source that has been calibrated conventionally, revealing unexpected systematic effects and allowing estimates of the ultimate accuracy of this method. In addition, these measurements are further into the IR than any previous measurements of this process and have produced the highest thermally stimulated downconversion signal yet seen.
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