News | October 26, 2009

FLIR Announces New Fully Integrated NIR Camera

Source: FLIR Systems, Inc - Research & Science

Boston -- FLIR Systems, the global leader in infrared cameras, announces its new Model SC2500-NIR near infrared camera designed for a wide range of science and research applications. The design of the SC2500-NIR makes it the only fully integrated camera covering the spectral range of 0.9µm to 1.7µm that combines thermal imaging and non-contact temperature measurements with superior data acquisition capabilities. All required image processing electronics are embedded in the camera to deliver sharp, ready-to-use images. Other capabilities include high frame rates, flexible integration times, lock-in signal processing, spectral filtering, and a Gigabit Ethernet digital interface for seamless connection to standard PCs and laptops. With pricing comparable to NIR cameras having far fewer features and capabilities, the Model SC2500-NIR will be of great benefit in scientific research, imaging spectroscopy, astronomy, water or ice detection, laser profiling, medical procedures, solar cell inspection, silicon wafer processing, and many manufacturing applications.

More Capabilities - Better Data
Most competitive NIR cameras are simply imagers. The Model SC2500-NIR also allows accurate non-contact temperature measurements. The camera is factory calibrated for temperatures from 400 to 2000°C in multiple ranges.

Additional features give researchers and practitioners other ways to get a better view of phenomena in the near infrared region of the spectrum. For example, the camera's A/D electronics allows integration times from 400ns up to one second in 1µs steps. The low settings allow data acquisition from high-energy targets without saturating the sensitive InGaAs detector. At longer integration times, the camera can acquire low energy target data, such as those in aerospace and astronomy applications.

The camera's sensitive InGaAs detector has an array size of 320 x 256 pixels. Combined with superior A/D electronics, this allows full-frame acquisition rates up to 340Hz to capture images of fast moving targets without image blur. The camera's adjustable image windowing (down to 128 x 8 pixels) enables frame rates as high as 15kHz.

A Lock-in Input feature can be used to enhance signal-to-noise ratio in the camera's imaging, based on an image correlation process. For instance, in solar cell inspection applications the Lock-in Input allows synchronized acquisition of an excitation source signal. The resulting measurements eliminate problems arising due to reflections from other energy sources, and significantly increase the sensitivity of the system. This brings the detection threshold of the system down below the noise floor of the camera by an order of magnitude or more.

Optionally, the Model SC2500-NIR's basic spectral range can be extended down to 0.4µm - well into the visible light region. The camera also has a removable lens interface that makes it easy to integrate with custom devices or spectrometers. That interface includes a built-in filter holder that further expands its capabilities. Neutral density filters can attenuate input energy to help prevent detector saturation. Spectral filters can narrow the detection band, allowing the camera to render certain types of media transparent or opaque. For example, with the appropriate spectral filter, the camera can "see" through paint to detect images below the surface, such as those in art restoration projects. In medical procedures, the appropriate filter allows the camera to look through blood to reveal the tissue below. With other filters it's possible to see through certain types of glass that would normally be opaque to most IR radiation. Spectral filters can also be used to help develop printing processes that make currencies more resistant to counterfeiting.

Backend electronics include a Trigger Input, allowing synchronization with the most fleeting event. Analog video output is available in PAL and NTSC formats for real-time viewing on a standard TV monitor. A Gigabit Ethernet interface can stream 14-bit temperature and image data to a PC for processing with a wide variety of software applications available from FLIR and third parties.

SOURCE: FLIR Systems, Inc - Research & Science