Abstract

A method is described for the measurement of the noise-equivalent spectral radiance (NESR) of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroradiometers at all wave numbers of a selected range. The method requires minimal detailed knowledge of the sensor and no support equipment beyond a blackbody source. The NESRs of the FTIR spectroradiometer are determined at every wave-number increment in the 700–1300 cm-1 range, for six resolutions, with a conventional blackbody source and ensembles of differential spectra. The NESRs are well behaved and consistent with the expected dependence on resolution; however, they depend on source temperature at the highest (1 cm-1) and lowest (32 cm-1) resolutions, with little or no statistical dependence at intermediate resolutions. Residual source drift is shown to be the likely cause of the dependence at 1 cm-1; the dependence on the source at 32 cm-1 resolution is shown to be most probably due to photon noise. At intermediate resolutions the sensor noise is dominant.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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