Five detectors sensitive in the near-infrared, including two photomultiplier tubes, a silicon photodiode, a silicon photodiode array, and a lead-sulfide photoconductor, are evaluated in terms of signal-to-noise ratios. Theoretical noise and signal calculations are compared to measured noise values and relative responses. The spectral response of the detectors between 700 and 1200 nm is also reported. The relative merits of a particular detector are a function of wavelength, photon flux, and other criteria.

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