Wavelength tunable liquid crystal imaging filters for remote sensing from geosynchronous platforms
- Foukal, Peter
- Oct 22, 1992.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Recent advances in liquid crystal technology have enabled us to construct tunable birefringent filters with bandwidths between approximately 0.1 nm and 50 nm. The center wavelength of these filters can be selected electronically, in a few tens of milliseconds, with no moving parts. These liquid crystal tunable filters (LCTF's), together with existing CCD detectors, make possible a new generation of lightweight, rugged, high-resolution imaging spectrophotometers. Such instruments would be particularly interesting for remote sensing applications from geosynchronous platforms. Important advantages exist in the aperture, absence of image shift, power consumption, size, weight, and absence of high drive frequencies, compared to current instruments used or considered for multispectral scene analysis. In the present work, we have reviewed spectral requirements of planned NASA geosynchronous remote sensing missions and identified several applications of the liquid crystal tunable filter technology. We have modeled the LCTF performance in the visible and near-infrared, and carried out a literature study on space-hardening of the filter components, to evaluate the suitability of LCTF's for geosynchronous missions. We have also compared the power consumption, weight, size, reliability, and optical performance of an imaging spectrophotometer using a LCTF monochromator, to other instruments that have been put forward for remote sensing from geosynchronous platforms. We put forward some conceptual designs for LCTF's that seem to offer important reliability, over the mechanical filter wheels presently baselined for the HEPI and ALM experiments. The extremely wide acceptance angle achievable with LCTF's could also avoid the present need for large-aperture interference filters in the ALM (and LIS) experiments. Thermal vacuum testing and radiation damage analysis is required to investigate the space hardening of these new filters for geosynchronous flight.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19930006525.
Accession ID: 93N15714.
- No Copyright.
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