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Proceedings Paper

Measurement of effective temperature range of fire service thermal imaging cameras
Author(s): Francine Amon; Nelson Bryner
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Paper Abstract

The use of thermal imaging cameras (TIC) by the fire service is increasing as fire fighters become more aware of the value of these tools. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently developing a consensus standard for design and performance requirements of TIC as used by the fire service. The National Institute of Standards and Technology facilitates this process by providing recommendations for science-based performance metrics and test methods to the NFPA technical committee charged with the development of this standard. A suite of imaging performance metrics and test methods, based on the harsh operating environment and limitations of use particular to the fire service, has been proposed for inclusion in the standard. The Effective Temperature Range (ETR) measures the range of temperatures that a TIC can view while still providing useful information to the user. Specifically, extreme heat in the field of view tends to inhibit a TIC's ability to discern surfaces having intermediate temperatures, such as victims and fire fighters. The ETR measures the contrast of a target having alternating 25 °C and 30 °C bars while an increasing temperature range is imposed on other surfaces in the field of view. The ETR also indicates the thermal conditions that trigger a shift in integration time common to TIC employing microbolometer sensors. The reported values for this imaging performance metric are the hot surface temperature range within which the TIC provides adequate bar contrast, and the hot surface temperature at which the TIC shifts integration time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6941, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XIX, 694113 (11 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778360
Show Author Affiliations
Francine Amon, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Nelson Bryner, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6941:
Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XIX
Gerald C. Holst, Editor(s)

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