I mounted the thinner Aluminium Watlow heater inside a 14" long, 1" inner diameter cylinder. The inner surface was lined with Aluminium foil to provide a very low emissivity surface and scatter a lot of radiation out of the end. ZEMAX simulations show this could increase the flux on a PD by 60-100x.
There was 40V across the heater and around 0.21A being drawn. The #9005 HgCdTe photo-detector was placed at one end of the cylinder to measure the far-IR. (Bear in mind this is a 1mmx1mm detector in an open aperture of approximately 490 mm^2), The measured voltage difference between OFF and the steady-state ON solution, after a 5000x gain stage, was around 270mV. This corresponds to 0.054mV at the photo-diode. Using the responsivity of the PD ~= 0.05V/W then this corresponds to about 10mW incident on the PD.