Advances in Testing Infrared Camera Systems

New infrared test charts and analysis software modernize testing of infrared cameras

Once viewed as exotic devices, infrared camera systems have moved into the mainstream in many industries, particularly in security and defense. From night-vision helmets, scopes, and security cameras to ballistic missile tracking telescopes, IR cameras have become as commonplace as they are mission-critical. As with other advanced technologies, quality control is key to successful development and application of IR camera systems, with the quality of the image itself being paramount to most organizations.

For companies that produce IR cameras, image quality testing may be required at many stages in the value chain: component parts (e.g., IR sensors, lenses) must be compared to determine which is best suited for a given product; alternative R&D prototypes must be evaluated; image quality in pre-production runs must be assessed; and final products coming off the manufacturing line must meet pass/fail quality thresholds.

Likewise, organizations that use IR camera systems typically need to benchmark competing supplier devices, conduct acceptance testing on random samples of supplied products, and verify proper camera functioning after setup and periodic maintenance. Furthermore, there is a need for standardized test equipment and procedures to monitor system performance over the extended life cycle of modern infrared cameras. All of these tasks depend on an ability to accurately measure and document image quality. (more…)

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