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NASA creates mid-infrared detector

US: NASA scientist Xiaoli Sun and his industry partner have created the world’s first photon-counting detector sensitive to the mid-infrared wavelength bands — a spectral sweet spot for a number of remote-sensing applications, including the detection of greenhouse gases on Earth, Mars and other planetary bodies, as well as ice and frost on comets, asteroids and the moon. “We have developed a new type of mid-infrared detector,” said Sun, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who worked with the Dallas-based DRS Technologies to advance the detector, which has since garnered additional funding support from the US Department of Defense.

The new detector, made of a special alloy called Mercury-Cadmium-Telluride (HgCdTe) used principally in infrared detectors, is well suited for LiDAR.

Source: NASA