Proceedings PaperReference-Free Nonuniformity Compensation For IR Imaging Arrays
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Multi-detector IR imaging focal plane arrays possess large detector-to-detector dark current (offset) and responsivity (gain) variations which can completely mask the useful thermal signatures in IR scenes. Conventional detector compensation techniques require uniform temperature references of constant radiance over the entire field of view and a mechanical/ electro-optical shutter. This detracts from the mechanical simplicity of multi-detector staring focal planes (which require no scanning). This paper describes a real-time offset and responsivity (gain) compensation technique which dispenses with temperature references and shutters in staring focal planes. The technique makes use of the IR scene itself for calibration and continuously updates the compensation coefficients without interrupting the field of view with a shutter or a temperature reference. The results of real-time simulations of this technique with a number of sensors are presented. Real-time hardware implementation considerations suggest that the technique can be implemented with the addition of very little hardware to a conventional compensation technique requiring temperature references. The technique is also suitable for multi-detector scanning focal planes and for the removal of shading in TV sensors as well.