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Black Body Radiation Sources

CI systems specializes in manufacturing blackbody radiation sources for over 35 years. During this time CI Systems gained experience in designing high emissivity blackbody radiation sources with superior temperature accuracy and surface uniformity. The large range of aperture sizes with the removable temperature sensor for shorter periodic calibrations make CI Systems the choice of many customers. Choose a blackbody radiation source from the list below or contact us for your custom requirement.


Black Body Radiation Generation

Black body radiation is electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by an object that is in thermodynamic equilibrium.  An object is considered a perfect black body when it absorbs all of the incoming light and does not reflect any. It appears perfectly black at room temperature. At any given temperature the amount of radiation a black body emits is the maximum amount possible at that temperature. In theory a black body emits energy in the full spectrum of wavelengths, whether in the ultraviolet, visible, infrared spectrums as well as other wavelengths. Essentially the black body emits a known amount of energy for an infinite number of wavelengths. This enables to draw the expected black body radiation curve for a given temperature.


Different objects radiate differently at temperatures and wavelengths based on their emissivity. No one material is truly an ideal black body radiation source. This radiation can be measured by sensors that are sensitive to the temperature differences in the captured data. By processing this data, an image can be produced that displays a thermal mapping. When combined with optics a thermal image of the surrounding area is generated. The process for generating images uses a FLIR detection model. A FLIR is an acronym for Forward Looking Infra-Red technology. This technology is the basis for thermal imaging.


Black body radiation

The image generated by this thermal camera, can be used in everything from detecting the temperature of an incredibly hot object to testing the accuracy and reliability of new hardware designed to interpret images based on a spectrum besides visible light.

Because of the number of versatile options that this radiation gives,a black body radiationsource is particularly useful in developing new electro-optical military systems.

Using a Black body when Developing New Equipment

A black body source is particularly useful for developing new technologies that deal with thermal imagery because they deliver consistent and expected results. The black body radiation they produce is well behaved and in accordance to the parameters that the developer sets.

When developing a new method of thermal imaging, this allows for the accuracy of the technology to be tested to values as accurate as the black body radiation source will allow.

The main reason accuracy is so important revolves around the delicate nature of military electro-optical technology. A greater range, such as the -40ºC to 1200ºC range that the black bodies from CI Systems provides, allows for imaging technology designed to find man-made installations in extremely cold climates to developing optics capable of being used with satellites to inspect for weapons of mass destruction.

The accuracy of these machines to produce black body radiation influences the results that the developer can expect. This helps to eliminate false positives while ensuring the technology can accurately determine valid results.

Testing Quality Translates to Technological Success

CI Systems provides some of the highest quality in black body radiation sources. Our equipment is capable of generating conditions designed to test a wide range of temperatures, with milli-Kelvin stability. These black bodies are accurate to the set temperature with a range of error no greater than 0.007ºC.

The temperature sensor attached to black body devices can be removed. This helps to ensure that results are accurate and easy to calibrate. This decreases the downtime time that must be dedicated to checking the  blackbody radiation source, which in turn decreases project turnaround time and costs while substantially increasing the reliability of results.

CI Systems also provide a number of three types of blackbody radiation sources. One is an extended area black body and the other is a cavity black body. A cavity black body radiation source can reach very high temperatures in the range of up to 1200ºC whereas the extended area black body radiation source ranges is  Accessories like choppers and IR targets are available. This allows for a number of field conditions to be simulated for testing and diagnostics.

To learn more about how CI Systems facilitates the expedited development of military electro-optical technology, contact us today. The results our black body sources bring will sharply increase the reliability of any developed technologies while ensuring that false positives are kept to a minimum both in the field and during testing.


Black Body Radiation Sources: SR800 and SR200  

The SR800 and SR200 series blackbody radiation sources are used in testing and calibrating thermal imagers.  They can be setup to operate as a standalone source or can be integrated into an Optical Test Bench based on a either a METS or ILET Collimator for performing electro-optical test qualification of the thermal imager. As a calibration tool the thermal imager defocused and is positioned in front of the blackbody radiation source where it is used to perform a non-uniformity calibration of the imager.  When the blackbody radiation source is integrated as part of an optical test bench automated testing with CI Systems Computerized Test Executive Software, CTE, can be performed to determine the operational characteristics of the thermal imager, or Unit Under Test, UUT.  With the blackbody radiation source and VIS-SWIR based Integrating Sphere source combined in the the test bench, multi-sensor/imagers can be tested as well as boresight measurements done.


Main features

  • Removable temperature sensor for shorter   turnaround calibration
  • Superior temperature accuracy of 0.007ºC
  • Emissivity of greater than 97% for 2µm to 14µm
  • Set point & readout resolution of 0.001ºC
  • Temperature range: -40ºC to 1200ºC
  • Milli-Kelvin temperature stability
  • Aperture size of up to 20"
  • Multi-function controller
  • Touch screen interface
  • Multiple communication controls
  • Custom options available
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