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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Radiometric calibration of infrared imagers using an internal shutter as an equivalent external blackbody

Paper Abstract

Advances in microbolometer long-wave infrared (LWIR) detectors have led to the common use of infrared cameras that operate without active temperature stabilization, but the response of these cameras varies with their own temperature. Therefore, obtaining quantitative data requires a calibration that compensates for these errors. This paper describes a method for stabilizing the camera’s response through software processing of consecutive images of the scene and images of the camera’s internal shutter. An image of the shutter is processed so that it appears as if it were viewed through the lens. The differences between the scene and the image of the shutter treated as an external blackbody are then related to the radiance or temperature of the objects in the scene. This method has been applied to two commercial LWIR cameras over a focal plane array temperature range of ±7.2°C, changing at a rate of up to ±0.5°C/min. During these tests, the rms variability of the camera output was reduced from ±4.0°C to ±0.26°C.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 December 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 53(12) 123106 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.53.12.123106
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 53, Issue 12
Show Author Affiliations
Paul W. Nugent, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Joseph A. Shaw, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Nathan J. Pust, Montana State Univ. (United States)

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