Modulation transfer function measurements of HgCdTe long wavelength infrared arrays for the Near-Earth Object Surveyor

Gregory R. Zengilowski, Craig W. McMurtry, Judith L. Pipher, Nicholas S. Reilly, Meghan L. Dorn, Amy K. Mainzer, Andre F. Wong, Lennon Reinhart, Trent Newswander, Ryan Luder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The modulation transfer function (MTF) is a useful measure in image quality analysis and performance budget determination. Sensitive long wavelength infrared (LWIR) detectors for astronomical space telescopes require slight modifications to the existing MTF measurement methods due to the increased prevalence of high dark current pixels. Presented here are the specifics of a modified slanted edge method to determine the MTF in λc > 10 μm HgCdTe detectors to be used with the planned Near-Earth Object Surveyor Mission. The measured MTF at Nyquist using 6 μm light is 0.22 ± 0.02 and is 0.25 ± 0.02 using 10 μm light for both 250 and 350 mV of applied reverse bias. These measurements are from edge spread functions with median signal values around 50% of the well depth, as the MTF is expected to change with signal value due to two brighter-fatter type effects. The expected trends caused by the influences of these two effects and the expected trends with wavelength of absorbed photons are all observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016002
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • HgCdTe
  • LWIR
  • brighter-fatter effect
  • image quality
  • infrared detector
  • modulation transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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