Background phenomenology databases and models are essential for the design and assessment ofelectro-optical sensing systems. The MWIR band has been proposed to satisfy a number of specific requirements in the DoD space based mission areas. However, the phenomenology database in the MWIR to support the design and performance evaluation is limited. Currently the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS/2) onboard NOAA 12, an operational polar orbiting environmental and weather satellite, offers continual global coverage of several bands in the MWIR. In particular, Channel 17 operates in the heart of the 4.23 micrometer CO2 band. Though with coarse resolution (~20 km), the vast database offers a good baseline understanding ofthe MWIR phenomenology related to space based MWIR systems on (1) amplitude variation as function oflatitude, season, and solar angle, (2) correlation to relevant MW1R features such as high-altitude clouds, stratospheric warming, aurora and other geomagnetic activities, (3) identification of potential low spatial frequency atmospheric features, and (4) comparison with future dedicated measurements. Statistical analysis on selected multiple orbits over all seasons and geographical regions was conducted. Global magnitude and variation in these bands were established. The overall spatial gradient on the 50 km scale was shown to be within sensor noise; this established the upper bound of spatial frequency in the heart-of-the-C02-band. Results also compared favorably with predictions from atmospheric background models such as the Synthetic High Altitude Radiance Code (SHARC-3.)

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation II 2742 (1996) 324-331 Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation II. International Society of Optical Engineers. Held Orlando, Florida: 8-10 April 1996. Copyright 1996 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. This paper was published in Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation II, SPIE vol. 2742 and is made available as an electronic reprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited. The authors wish to acknowledge the guidance ofCapt. David O'Donnell, our program manager from the Air Force SMCIMT Office. We are grateful to Steve Nieman of the Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin, for his assistance in calibration and navigation of the HIRS data. We are also indebted to Dr. Bill Blumberg of the Phillips Laboratory and Dr. James Duff of Spectral Sciences Inc. for the many helpful discussions and providing the model results from SHARC-3. ISBN: 081-94-2123-5Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


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