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Proceedings Paper

Extending IR camera scene radiance dynamic range with cyclic integration times
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Paper Abstract

Infrared cameras are often used to capture high-speed digital video of scenes with enormous ranges in in-band brightness. A simple example of this is a rocket launch, a scene which can consist of a cold rocket hardbody and an extremely hot exhaust plume. It can be next to impossible to fully span a scene like this with the brightness dynamic range of an infrared camera (typically ~12-14 bits) at a single exposure value. The brightest or hottest parts of the image will often be saturated, while at the same time the darkest or coldest parts of the scene may be buried in the noise floor of the camera and appear black in the image. Varying the exposure by adjusting the camera to an optimal shutter speed or integration time is necessary to maximize the useful information recorded by the camera. Sometimes, however, a single integration time is not enough to fully encompass a scene’s brightness (temperature) variations. The technique of superframing gets around this problem by exploiting the capabilities of high frame-rate IR cameras. The technique involves cycling a camera through a set of integration times on a frame-by-frame basis, then combines the resulting “subframes” into single “superframes” with greatly extended dynamic ranges. If the frame rate is sufficiently high, the scene will not change appreciably from one subframe to the next. The technique and some sample data are described in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2005
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5782, Thermosense XXVII, (28 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.606967
Show Author Affiliations
Austin A. Richards, FLIR Systems, Inc. (United States)
Brian K. Cromwell, FLIR Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5782:
Thermosense XXVII
G. Raymond Peacock; Douglas D. Burleigh; Jonathan J. Miles, Editor(s)

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