Testbed for room temperature IR sensors

Testbed for room temperature IR sensors

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

A prototype camera at the Institute in Duisburg, Germany, will simplify development of systems measuring small differences in heat based on these room temperature detectors in future. “It is very time-consuming and expensive to create an image from a new detector as the sensor must first be adapted to the given camera model. We want to reduce this effort by offering a suitable camera as a testing platform for our detectors that generates images on a PC immediately,” said Dr Dirk Weiler from the Fraunhofer IMS.
IR cameras are becoming integrated into more systems, including an iPhone case from FLIR Systems. This is being used for analysis of heat loss from buildings and even locating areas of damp.
The EVAL-IRFA camera at Fraunhofer IMS doesn’t just prepare the infrared photo material faster. While commercially available infrared cameras have integrated image processing that typically sharpens temperature edges or smoothes surfaces, the model from the Duisburg researchers presents a true image of every pixel. While it makes sense to enhance the images during regular operations later on, doing so during the R&D phase is counter- productive. The performance and operation can only be evaluated and adapted to a given application with the help of the raw detector data. “Since our customers come from very different application areas, they often times have very specific requirements for the sensor – in relation to the optical or temperature resolutions, for example,” said Weiler. “If we tweak one or the other adjustment during the development phase here, the customer can immediate check the result in the actual image using our camera.”
The goal is to introduce room-temperature IR detectors into applications faster. Weiler is certain the demand is there: “Our technology opens up innovations especially for mobile applications, since it leads to smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient camera systems.” This is of interest not just in themography for buildings. IR cameras installed as part of driver assistance systems could improve road safety, since people and animals on unlighted roadways can be detected at large distances – without high beams blinding oncoming traffic. Infrared cameras could also be valuable in building surveillance or monitoring production machinery.

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