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12 May 2005 Measurement of uncooled thermal imager noise
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Uncooled staring thermal imagers have noise characteristics that are different from cooled thermal imagers (photon detector sensors). For uncooled sensors, typical measurements of some noise components can vary as much as 3 to 5 times the original noise value. Additionally, the detector response often drifts to the point that non-uniformity correction is only good for a short time period. Because the noise can vary so dramatically with time, it can prove difficult to measure the noise associated with uncooled systems. However, it is critical that laboratory measurements provide repeatable and reliable measurement of constructed uncooled thermal imagers. In light of the above difficulties, a primary objective of this research has been to develop a satisfactory measurement for the noise of uncooled staring thermal imagers. In this research effort, three-dimensional noise (3D Noise) data vs. time was collected for several uncooled sensors after nonuniformity correction. Digital and analog noise data vs. time were collected nearly simultaneously. Also, multiple 3D Noise vs. time runs were made to allow the examination of variability. Measurement techniques are being developed to provide meaningful and repeatable test procedures to characterize the uncooled systems.
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Stephen Sousk, Patrick O'Shea, and Van Hodgkin "Measurement of uncooled thermal imager noise", Proc. SPIE 5784, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVI, (12 May 2005);

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