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Calibration facility for airborne imaging spectrometers

A new facility designed to perform calibration measurements of airborne imaging spectrometers was established at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. This Calibration Home Base (CHB) is optimized to characterize radiometrically, spectrally, and geometrically the APEX (Airborne Prism Experiment) imaging spectrometer, which is currently being developed under the authority of the European Space Agency (ESA). It however can be used for other optical sensors as well. Computer control of major laboratory equipment allows automation of time consuming measurements. In APEX configuration (wavelength range: 380 to 2500 nm, instantaneous field of view: 0.48 mrad, field of view: 14) spectral measurements can be performed to a wavelength uncertainty of 0:15 nm, geometric measurements at increments of 0.0017 mrad across track and 0.0076 mrad along track, and radiometric measurements to an uncertainty of 3% relative to national standard. The CHB can be adapted to similar sensors (including those with thermal infrared detectors) by exchanging the monochromator's lamp, the gratings and the filters, and by adjusting the distance between the sensor and folding mirror.