6 October 2017 Comparison of parameters of modern cooled and uncooled thermal cameras
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Abstract
During the design of a system employing thermal cameras one always faces a problem of choosing the camera types best suited for the task. In many cases such a choice is far from optimal one, and there are several reasons for that. System designers often favor tried and tested solution they are used to. They do not follow the latest developments in the field of infrared technology and sometimes their choices are based on prejudice and not on facts. The paper presents the results of measurements of basic parameters of MWIR and LWIR thermal cameras, carried out in a specialized testing laboratory. The measured parameters are decisive in terms of image quality generated by thermal cameras. All measurements were conducted according to current procedures and standards. However the camera settings were not optimized for a specific test conditions or parameter measurements. Instead the real settings used in normal camera operations were applied to obtain realistic camera performance figures. For example there were significant differences between measured values of noise parameters and catalogue data provided by manufacturers, due to the application of edge detection filters to increase detection and recognition ranges. The purpose of this paper is to provide help in choosing the optimal thermal camera for particular application, answering the question whether to opt for cheaper microbolometer device or apply slightly better (in terms of specifications) yet more expensive cooled unit. Measurements and analysis were performed by qualified personnel with several dozen years of experience in both designing and testing of thermal camera systems with both cooled and uncooled focal plane arrays. Cameras of similar array sizes and optics were compared, and for each tested group the best performing devices were selected.
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Jarosław Bareła, Jarosław Bareła, Mariusz Kastek, Mariusz Kastek, Krzysztof Firmanty, Krzysztof Firmanty, Michał Krupiński, Michał Krupiński, } "Comparison of parameters of modern cooled and uncooled thermal cameras", Proc. SPIE 10433, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications XIV, 1043307 (6 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2277830; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2277830
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