UCIRC2: An Infrared Cloud Monitor for EUSO-SPB2
July 22, 2019
We describe the design and implementation of the University of Chicago Infrared Camera 2 (UCIRC2) built for monitoring cloud coverage during the EUSO-SPB2 flight (the second generation of the Extreme Universe Space Observatory on a Super Pressure Balloon). UCIRC2 uses two infrared (IR) cameras centered on 10$\mu$m and 12$\mu$m wavelengths to capture images of the clouds beneath EUSO-SPB2 in two bands spanning the thermal emission peak. Taken every minute, the IR images allow the determination of the height and coverage of clouds between the telescope and the ground. We discuss the design and construction of UCIRC2, including the techniques and design principles that make the module temperature and vacuum resilient. Additionally, we delineate the image reconstruction process and the pixel by pixel temperature calibration procedure. This paper will posit design and implementation suggestions for future ultra-high energy space telescopes.
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