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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of the effects of 1/f noise and choppers on the performance of DC-coupled thermal imaging systems
Author(s): Charles M. Hanson
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Paper Abstract

It has long been known that 1/f noise is the bane of staring thermal imaging systems because the detector pixels are sampled at a low data rate. In the frequency range between about one Hertz and an upper limit set by the eye integration time, 1/f noise is quite distracting and detrimental to real-world system performance to an extent greater than would be expected from its impact on NETD. For very low frequencies 1/f noise amounts to drift. Because the noise in individual pixels is uncorrelated with noise in other pixels, this appears as a time-varying spatial noise, which degrades system performance more seriously than temporal noise. This paper quantifies these effects and shows that the electrical integration time is a critical factor in the rate at which 1/f noise degrades MRT after calibration. Use of a chopper reduces or eliminates the spatial noise, but with a sensitivity penalty. These results are particularly apropos to uncooled thermal imaging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4369, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVII, (10 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.445351
Show Author Affiliations
Charles M. Hanson, Raytheon Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4369:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXVII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Marija Strojnik, Editor(s)

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