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The visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum extends from violet (wavelength of about 0.38 µm) to red (about 0.78 µm).


The near-wavelength infrared region comprises wavelengths of 3–5 µm, the medium-wavelength infrared region wavelengths of 5–7 µm, and the long-wavelength infrared region, 8–14 µm.


It is doubtful if this sensor technology will be widely used in civil applications, regardless of its performance, unless it is relatively inexpensive. Generally speaking, it is easier and less expensive to produce sensors with shorter cutoff wavelengths and lower sensitivity.


In this context "low-cost" means less than $1,000, as opposed to the usual $50,000.


NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has recently reported the development of a bolometer that uses electron-tunneling to achieve microsecond response times.


The band gap is the minimum energy needed to excite a carrier from the valence band to the conduction band.


Comparisons between different detector technologies must therefore be made at a given operating temperature.


Definitive statements about nonuniformity are difficult to make, because nonuniformity can be corrected to some extent by computerized signal processing.


While the temperature of the material can be controlled during detector use, process temperatures are more difficult to control.


However, this latter consideration does not appear to be important for the photo-conductive detectors discussed here.

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