The Boeing Infrared Sensor (BIRS) Calibration Facility represents a major capital investment by The Boeing Company in optical and infrared technology. The facility was designed and built for calibrating and testing new generation large aperture long wave infrared (LWIR) sensors, seekers, and related technologies. The capability exists to perform both radiometric and goniometric calibrations of large infrared sensors under simulated environmental operating conditions. The system is presently configured for endoatmospheric calibrations with a uniform background field that can be set to simulate the expected mission background levels. During calibration, the sensor under test is also exposed to expected mission temperatures and pressures within the test chamber. The facility could be converted for exoatmospheric testing.
The first major test runs in the facility were completed during 1989 with very satisfactory results. This paper will describe system configuration and hardware elements, and will address the modifications made to date.
Pitt-Des Moines. Inc. (PDM) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the contractor for the turnkey design and construction of the test chambers and thermal vacuum systems. Hughes Danbury Optical Systems (formerly Perkin Elmer Optical Systems) was the hardware supplier for the optical hardware. The Boeing Company performed all optical assembly, integration, testing, and alignment on-site.