A paper by Sergey Mekhontsev, Vladimir Khromchenko, Alexander Prokhorov, Leonard Hanssen
National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA

Presented at the 9th International Symposium on Temperature and Thermal Measurements in Industry and Science (TEMPMEKO 2004), June 22-25, 2004, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Proceedings, Vol. 1, ed. by D. Zvizdic (2004), pp. 581-586.


A new facility for the characterization of infrared spectral emittance of materials has recently been developed at NIST. The facility operation is based on measurements of a sample’s spectral radiance and surface temperature with help of a set of variable temperature blackbodies and a spectral comparator. For highest accuracy, variable temperature blackbodies are calibrated in spectral radiance against a pair of fixed-point blackbodies with interchangeable crucibles of In, Sn, and Zn, and Al, Ag, and Cu, respectively. The spectral emissivity of the fixed-point blackbodies also needs to be accurately characterized. We employ a multi-prong approach: (1) Monte Carlo ray-trace modeling and calculations, (2) hemispherical reflectance measurements of the crucible cavity material flat sample, as well as the cavity itself, (3) direct spectral emittance measurements of the same samples using the facility, and (4) comparison of the fixed point blackbodies with each other as well as with variable temperature heat pipe blackbodies, using filter radiometers and the facility’s Fourier transform spectrometer. The Monte Carlo code is used to predict the cavity emissivity with input of the cavity shape and the emissivity and specularity of the cavity material. The reflectance measurements provide emissivity data of both the material and the cavity at room temperature. The results are used to compare with and validate the code results. The direct emittance measurements of the material provide the temperature dependence of the material emittance as code input. The code predicted results for the cavities at their operating temperature (freeze points) are then compared with the relative spectral radiance measurements. Use of this complete set of evaluation tools enables us to obtain the spectral emissivity of the blackbodies with reliably determined uncertainties.

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