Thermal emission imaging system (THEMIS) for Mars 2001 using an uncooled microbolometer array

Steven H. Silverman, Karl R. Blasius, Stephen J. Ferry, Philip Christensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


THEMIS is a 13kg 14W pushbroom imager being built for NASA's Mars 2001 orbiter to acquire 9 IR bands (6.5-15.5 μm) of 100m resolution images to map mineralogy and search for hydrothermal activity. A 20m resolution multispectral visible sensor, from Malin Space Science Systems, is also integrated into THEMIS. THEMIS data will support selection of landing sites for sample collection and return missions. Optics and detector designs are keys to meeting the low-cost mission requirements. THEMIS' telescope is a compact 3-mirror f/1.6 diamond-turned design. Spectral selection is via stripe filters fixed above the focal planes. The IR focal plane incorporates a 2D array of Si microbolometer detectors, based on a Honeywell patent and further developed by Raytheon. These uncooled detectors relieve the instrument design from accommodating the bulk/weight/power of an active/passive cryocooler. The detector high responsivity range is being extended down from 8 to 6 μm to image carbonate absorption bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Aerospace Applications Conference Proceedings
Place of PublicationLos Alamitos, CA, United States
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Snowmass at Aspen, CO, USA
Duration: Mar 6 1999Mar 13 1999


OtherProceedings of the 1999 IEEE Aerospace Conference
CitySnowmass at Aspen, CO, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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