Shutter-less calibration of uncooled infrared cameras
- Technische Universität Dresden, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Solid-State Electronics Laboratory, Dresden, Germany
Abstract. Infrared (IR) cameras based on microbolometer focal plane arrays (FPAs) are the most widely used cameras in thermography. New fields of applications like handheld devices and small distributed sensors benefit from the latest sensor improvements in terms of cost and size reduction. In order to compensate for disturbing influences derived from changing ambient conditions, radiometric cameras use an optical shutter for online recalibration purposes, partially also together with sensor temperature stabilization. For these new applications, IR cameras should consist only of infrared optics, a sensor array, and digital signal processing (DSP). For acceptable measurement uncertainty values without using an optical shutter (shutter-less), the disturbing influences of changing thermal conditions have to be treated based on temperature measurements of the camera interior. We propose a compensation approach based on calibration measurements under controlled ambient conditions. All correction parameters are determined during the calibration process. Without sensor temperature stabilization (TEC-less), the pixel responsivity is also affected by the camera temperature changes and has to be considered separately. This paper presents the details of the compensation procedure and discusses relevant aspects to gain low temperature measurement uncertainty. The residual measurement uncertainty values are compared to the shutter-based compensation approach.