Panoramic imaging is inherently wide field of view. High sensitivity uncooled Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) imaging requires low F-number optics. These two requirements result in short back working distance designs that, in addition to being costly, are challenging to integrate with commercially available uncooled LWIR cameras and cores. Common challenges include the relocation of the shutter flag, custom calibration of the camera dynamic range and NUC tables, focusing, and athermalization. Solutions to these challenges add to the system cost and make panoramic uncooled LWIR cameras commercially unattractive. In this paper, we present the design of Panoramic Imaging Relay Optics (PIRO) and show imagery and test results with one of the first prototypes. PIRO designs use several reflective surfaces (generally two) to relay a panoramic scene onto a real, donut-shaped image. The PIRO donut is imaged on the focal plane of the camera using a commercially-off-the-shelf (COTS) low F-number lens. This approach results in low component cost and effortless integration with pre-calibrated commercially available cameras and lenses.
Orges Furxhi, Joe Frascati, and Ronald Driggers, "Design, demonstration and testing of low F-number LWIR panoramic imaging relay optics," Proc. SPIE 10625, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXIX, 106250Z (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 18, 2018; Published: 26 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2305081.
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