Radiometric Characterization of a Water-Based Conical Blackbody Calibration Target for Millimeter-Wave Remote Sensing

Jacob, Karl; Schroder, Arne; von Werra, Leandro; Reinhard, Florian; Raisin, Philippe; Murk, Axel (2019). Radiometric Characterization of a Water-Based Conical Blackbody Calibration Target for Millimeter-Wave Remote Sensing. IEEE journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing, 12(6), pp. 1688-1696. IEEE 10.1109/JSTARS.2019.2913729

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In this paper, we present the design and radiometriccharacterization of a water-based conical blackbody calibrationtarget to be applied as a precise reference source in laboratoriesand for the accurate calibration of ground-based microwave in-struments. The concept of aqueous blackbody targets circumventsthe conflict between the electromagnetic and thermal propertiesof traditional calibration target designs. The temperature control-lable target consists of a conical low loss plastic shell, which hasbeen manufactured using a stereolithography three-dimensionalprinter to define the water–air interface. An advanced exponentialprofile of the shell is used to compensate the comparatively high re-fractive index of water and to obtain a high emissivity. Simulationsand active measurements of the coherent backscattering S11havebeen performed verifying its excellent electromagnetic properties.Furthermore, radiometric measurements at 110 GHz demonstratethe outstanding thermal performance at various target tempera-tures between 10 and 60 °C. The differences between the bright-ness temperature and the water temperature are measured to beless than 40 mK and therefore significantly smaller in comparisonto traditional calibration targets. In addition, the measured base-line ripples in the spectra caused by the water-based calibrationtarget are small compared to established blackbody concepts.Index Terms—Blackbody targets, calibration, electromagneticdesign, microwave absorbers, microwave radiometry, remotesensing, three-dimensional (3-D) printing.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Microwaves

UniBE Contributor:

Jacob, Karl Friedrich and Murk, Axel


600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Simone Corry

Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2019 15:39

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:30

Publisher DOI:





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