The advanced technology progression on cooled mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) spurred the development of infrared detector technology. With this new technology, high speed infrared camera performance has been propelled forward to another notch that is beneficial to many demanding thermal imaging applications.
High Speed Infrared Cameras Dynamic Features
Now, new dynamic features appear in sophisticated infrared cameras which cover spectral sensitivity in all types of wave bands including two bands. The new technology also brings forth different scopes of camera resolutions caused by a variety of pixel sizes and detector arrays.
High frame rate imaging with adjustable exposure time are part and parcel of the new features on infrared cameras in the market today. Sophisticated features include event triggering and processing algorithms to optimize sensitivity with accurate calibration for optimal digital value output according to object temperatures.
Another type of algorithm known as non-uniformity correction algorithms enhances the infrared camera performance capabilities to support a wide array of thermal imaging applications which were not possible previously. All these features center on the cooled MCT detector which is highly sensitive and versatile for high speed thermal applications.
Understanding Spectral Sensitivity Bands
The different MCT detectors offer high speed infrared cameras to enjoy different spectral bands to function exquisitely. The specific spectral band is activated through the different MCT or HgCdTe alloy composition and the set-point temperature of the detector.
A single band infrared detector results in high quantum efficiency with an impressive high signal-to-noise ratio that is capable of detecting very low levels of infrared signal. 5 nominal spectral bands are available from single-band MCT detectors;
- Short-wave infrared cameras
- Broad-band infrared cameras
- Mid-wave infrared cameras
- Long-wave infrared cameras
- Very Long Wave cameras
The market today offers monospectral infrared detectors with one band as well as dual band or two color infrared detectors to accommodate various market applications. Certain apps require different spectral radiance on the objects under observation for higher accuracy and clarity such as spectroscopy, laser beam viewing and target signature analysis as well as cold-object imaging. Moreover, different spectral bands are preferred to cater to the various range concerns of different applications.
Image Resolution Dynamics
High speed infrared cameras that are currently available in the market today are designed with different resolution capabilities using infrared detectors of varying array and pixel sizes. A 320×256 array could contain 30 micron pixels to offer an extremely wide dynamic range generated by large pixels that have low noise and very high sensitivity.
Infrared detector arrays come in various sizes such as QVGA, VGA and SXGA. The QVGA is an economic choice with large sensitive pixel and excellent dynamic range while the other two options have a denser array of pixels with higher resolution.
However, modern technology offers smaller pixel pitches in infrared cameras that cause detector arrays to enjoy 15 micron pitch to be highly effective in thermal images. Higher resolution applications require larger array cameras with smaller pixel pitch in order to deliver high contrast pixels with greater sensitivity. Hence, smaller pixel pitch produces smaller optics that leads to greater savings. Infrared camera lenses are designed to have special properties such as flexible focal length, versatile F-number or the aperture and high resolution for clear and accurate images.
Other dynamic features of the high speed infrared cameras include variable exposure time, triggering, frame rate and radiometry. These are extremely useful features to capture the desired image for precision in performing accurate analysis.
There are many useful applications for high speed infrared cameras which are of great importance in every aspect of life; and the list of applications continues to grow as time passes with more advanced technologies sprouting up.
Some important applications include the imaging of:
- fast-moving thermal objects
- airbag deployment in testing
- turbine blades analysis
- dynamic brake analysis
- thermal analysis of projectiles
- heating effects of explosives
High speed infrared cameras with high sensitivity cooled MCT detectors enable such applications to be successful with high-speed thermal events. The MCT infrared detector works to capture the pixels from the thermal radiation of targeted objects. More high speed events are now under probe with the availability of high performance MCT detector for more accurate and in-depth study and research to advance technology and improve lifestyles.