Based on previous work on thermal imager performance analysis at Fraunhofer IOSB using specific scenes and patterns, we present our advances in setting up a testbed for thermal imager characterization with a MIRAGE™ XL infrared scene projector.
In the first part, we outline the experimental setup of our testbed. It allows for mimicking infrared imaging of real scenes in a controlled laboratory environment. We describe the process of dynamic infrared scene generation as well as the physical limitations of our scene projection setup.
A second part discusses ongoing and future applications. This testbed extends our standard lab measurements for thermal imagers by a image based performance analysis method. Scene based methods are necessary to investigate and assess advanced digital signal processing (ADSP) algorithms which are becoming an integral part of thermal imagers. We use this testbed to look into inferences of unknown proprietary ADSP algorithms by choosing suitable test scenes.
Furthermore, we investigate the influence of dazzling on thermal imagers by coupling infrared laser radiation into the projected scene. The studies allow to evaluate the potential and hazards of infrared dazzling and to describe correlated effects. In a future step, we want to transfer our knowledge of VIS/NIR laser protection into the infrared regime.
Fraunhofer IOSB (Ettlingen, Germany) developed and built a measurement system to verify laser threat detection. The system has been given the name MARLA (Maritime Lasermessanlage), eng.: maritime laser measurement system. It is an integral part of an exercise and test range for electronic warfare of the German Navy at Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Schiffe und Marinewaffen, Maritime Technologie und Forschung WTD 71, Eckernförde, Germany.
The system provides realistic simulations of various laser-based threats to ships on sea and allows studies of the efficacy of onboard laser warning receivers. MARLA assists laser counter-measures and enables to include environmental studies (atmospheric transmission, water reflections etc.). Redundant system design ensures laser safety even in public areas.
The core of MARLA is a modular laser unit (LU) consisting of five laser modules (LM) and the dedicated laser controllers (LC). The laser modules are mounted on a pan-tilt positioner. MARLA covers the most common laser threats like laser target designator (LTD), laser range finder (LRF), laser beam rider (LBR) and laser dazzler (LD). The individual laser modules are based on commercially available laser sources fitted with multi-stage attenuators to set the laser irradiance within a range of seven orders of magnitude without losing beam quality. By means of a photo detector, the energy of the emitted laser pulses is recorded. An integrated beam shaper enables to vary the beam divergence.
The further crucial parts of MARLA are the control and data acquisition system with operating and visualization software and a general laser safety monitoring system. All the subsystems are integrated into a climate-controlled movable 20' sea container. Use of a stand-alone verification system provides reference data to verify the actual on-site irradiation at the test target.
We present an optical concept for imaging sensor systems, designed to reduce considerably the sensor’s image information loss in cases of laser dazzle, based on the principle of complementary bands. For this purpose, the sensor system’s spectral range is split in several (at least two) spectral channels, where each channel possesses its own imaging sensor. This long-known principle is applied, for example, in high-quality 3-sensor colour cameras. However, in such camera systems, the spectral separation between the different spectral bands is far too poor to prevent complete sensor saturation when illuminated with intense laser radiation. We increased the channel separation by orders of magnitude by implementing advanced optical elements. Thus, monochromatic radiation of a dazzle laser mainly impacts the dedicated transmitting spectral channel. The other (out-ofband) spectral channels are not or – depending on the laser power – only hardly affected. In this paper, we present our system design as well as a performance evaluation of the sensor concerning laser dazzle.
The continuous development of laser systems toward more compact and efficient devices constitutes an increasing threat to electro-optical imaging sensors, such as complementary metal–oxide–semiconductors (CMOS) and charge-coupled devices. These types of electronic sensors are used in day-to-day life but also in military or civil security applications. In camera systems dedicated to specific tasks, micro-optoelectromechanical systems, such as a digital micromirror device (DMD), are part of the optical setup. In such systems, the DMD can be located at an intermediate focal plane of the optics and it is also susceptible to laser damage. The goal of our work is to enhance the knowledge of damaging effects on such devices exposed to laser light. The experimental setup for the investigation of laser-induced damage is described in detail. As laser sources, both pulsed lasers and continuous-wave (CW)-lasers are used. The laser-induced damage threshold is determined by the single-shot method by increasing the pulse energy from pulse to pulse or in the case of CW-lasers, by increasing the laser power. Furthermore, we investigate the morphology of laser-induced damage patterns and the dependence of the number of destructive device elements on the laser pulse energy or laser power. In addition to the destruction of single pixels, we observe aftereffects, such as persistent dead columns or rows of pixels in the sensor image.
The continuous development of laser systems towards more compact and efficient devices constitutes an increasing threat to electro-optical imaging sensors such as complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS) and charge-coupled devices (CCD). These types of electronic sensors are used in day-to-day life but also in military or civil security applications. In camera systems dedicated to specific tasks, also micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS) like a digital micromirror device (DMD) are part of the optical setup. In such systems, the DMD can be located at an intermediate focal plane of the optics and it is also susceptible to laser damage. The goal of our work is to enhance the knowledge of damaging effects on such devices exposed to laser light.
The experimental setup for the investigation of laser-induced damage is described in detail. As laser sources both pulsed lasers and continuous-wave (CW) lasers are used. The laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) is determined by the single-shot method by increasing the pulse energy from pulse to pulse or in the case of CW-lasers, by increasing the laser power.
Furthermore, we investigate the morphology of laser-induced damage patterns and the dependence of the number of destructed device elements on the laser pulse energy or laser power. In addition to the destruction of single pixels, we observe aftereffects like persisting dead columns or rows of pixels in the sensor image.
In this paper, we propose ways to study the optical limiting behavior of dissolved nanoparticles. We want to present two
different approaches. First, we identify the key properties responsible for the critical fluence threshold using a principal
component analysis. For metallic nanoparticles, we found that the real part of the complex dielectric function must have
a negative value as low as possible, while the imaginary part must be close to zero. Additionally, the solvent should have
a low refractive index as well as a low absorption.
Furthermore, nonlinear scattering seems to be an important limiting mechanism for nanoparticle limiters. Here, we
present a thermal finite element model to predict the temporal evolution of the temperature profile in the nanoparticles
and their vicinity. The temperature profile leads to vapor bubbles around the nanoparticles and Mie theory is used to
calculate the induced scattering. We demonstrate the functionality of the model by simulating an Au-nanoparticle in an