Infrared Camera Components
Infrasight cameras offer a number of advantages over competing infrared cameras including calibration accuracy, measurement efficiency, and cost.
Each Infrasight camera undergoes a rigorous calibration procedure over the course of several days to correlate detector response to temperature measurement over the entire measurement range amd ambient operating range. Each lens is calibrated with its associated camera, resulting in unsurpassed accuracy and measurement uniformity across the full field-of-view. And in a final procedure, we normalize the performance of each lens/camera combination across the field-of-view to optimize scene uniformity, so that temperatures measured in the corners of the image are just as accurate as those made in the center of the image.
Competing manufacturers typically limit their calibration process to a two-temperature-point correction. In other words, measurement accuracy is ensured at only two different scene temperatures, not throughout the full range of potential measurement values. Additionally, the calibration process of competing cameras is usually performed with a generic lens, not with the specific lenses that will be used with the camera, resulting in erroneous temperature measurements and considerable temperature non-uniformity across the image. In fact, such camera/lens combinations may not have an accuracy specification at all.
Infrasight cameras include a long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) microbolometer detector that operates from 7-14µm. Most competing systems employ mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) camera that operate between 3-5µm. There are advantages and disadvantages with both of these detector technologies. MWIR advantages can include slightly higher sensitivity and image capture rate. Also, due to their shorter operating wavelength, somewhat higher spatial resolution can potentially be achieved with properly designed optics.
LWIR microbolometer cameras have a number of important advantages when performing temperature measurements below 200°C. At these temperatures, the majority of emitted infrared energy is in the LWIR region. Also, the emissivity of many materials, including semiconductors, is generally higher in the LWIR region. These characteristics of low temperature measurements result in a greater amount of infrared energy reaching the camera detector. Furthermore, the Infrasight detector does not require cooling. The cryogenic cooling hardware incorporated into MWIR cameras can lead to low reliability and increased maintenance.
A very important difference between Infrasight and MWIR cameras is purchase price. Due to economies of scale and the fact that cryogenic cooling is unnecessary, we are able to offer Infrasight for a fraction of the cost of MWIR cameras.