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Proceedings Paper

A reconfigurable low-cost thermal imager for unattended ground sensors
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Paper Abstract

The cost of thermal imaging technology has, up until now, precluded its widespread use in sensor systems which require sensors to be deployed in very large numbers. This paper describes a method of achieving this goal of bringing low-cost 'disposable' thermal imaging into the dismounted military environment. Infrared detectors based on the manufacturing processes used in the production of conventional silicon chips offer a breakthrough in cost compared to other technologies. Despite having modest performance, this technology offers a route towards a very cost-effective thermal imaging sensor for dismounted applications. A flexible detector format which permits the detector to operate as a conventional close-packed 2-d array or as a faster update linear array gives the opportunity for performance optimisation and data reduction at the sensor, important attributes for a remotely deployed sensor with limited power resources. This paper describes a sensor architecture which is well matched to the cost, power consumption, and performance levels suited to short-range dismounted and networked operations, and demonstrates some of the imaging capability achievable with such a simple (and hence potentially extremely low cost) sensor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6394, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks III, 63940S (5 October 2006);
Show Author Affiliations
Paul A. Manning, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Nicholas J. Parkinson, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Tim S. Phillips, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Dean A. R. Beale, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6394:
Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks III
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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