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Radiation Effects in IRAS Extrinsic Infrared Detectors

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2 Author(s)
Larry Varnell ; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 ; D. E. Langford

During the calibration and testing of the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) focal plane, it was observed that the extrinsic photoconductor detectors were affected by gamma radiation at dose levels of the order of one rad. Since the flight environment will subject the focal plane to dose levels of this order from protons in single pass through the South Atlantic Anomaly, an extensive program of radiation tests was carried out to measure the radiation effects and to devise a method to counteract these effects. The effects observed after irradiation are increased responsivity, noise, and rate of spiking of the detectors after gamma-ray doses of less than 0.1 rad. The detectors can be returned almost to pre-irradiation performance by increasing the detector bias to breakdown and allowing a large current to flow for several minutes. No adverse effects on the detectors have been observed from this bias boost, and this technique will be used for IRAS with frequent calibration to ensure the accuracy of observations made with the instrument.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 6 )