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Q: technical description of FLIR

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by les, Aug 2, 2005.

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  1. les

    les Guest

    I know this is a GREAT site for thinkers and tinkerers, so let me
    ask here.
    I haven't seen much description about the FLIR device. A typical
    web search yeilds companies that market it, but nothing relevant
    to the transducer or electronics involved.
    It seems to be a big secret....almost.
    I was wondering how different it is from a regular ccd camera
    (excepting the transducer device) and what the "ccd-like" chip
    really is.
    Also, is the nm sensitivity adjustable, or the psuedo-color mapping
    addressable for display?

    Thanks..........Les KA9GLW
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Guest

    Andy responds:

    I am familiar with some of the military Forward Looking Infra Red
    systems\
    and they are much much much more sophisticated, typically, than the
    simple CCD cameras with the IR LEDs mounted around them. The one
    in the F16, for instance, has cooling pumps and can see stuff 20 miles
    away at midnite..... On the other hand, I have a little $20 black
    and white
    camera that can see a couple feet with an LED illuminator.....

    So, the range of complexity is mind boggling..... The night vision
    scopes
    for the military don't use cooling and are similar to the ones you buy
    in sporting good stores, only they cost 100 times as much......

    However, the ones using the cheap CCD chips are all low
    performance.
    The really good ones are still classified...... You can go to
    terraserver
    or one of the weather radar sites and see the satellite photos , some
    of
    which are infrared .. That's pretty good stuff, but not even close
    to
    what some military stuff can do........

    Anyway, I worked with them a bunch at Raytheon, before I retired.

    Andy
     
  3. les

    les Guest

    I'm interested in the variety that are used in surveillance
    typically as they seem rugged and probably not in the
    classified arena.
    I have an IR scope, since I experiment with IR photography
    and other optics. It does basically what my Sony DVcam does
    with (IR) ambient illumination, which is basically amazing.
    (our eyes are sooooo inadequate)
    But, I have talked to a fireman (friend) and they have
    unit that respond to the 8-10 nm band which affords finding
    victims.
    I don't know if this technology is classified, but I'm very curious
    to read more about the hardware operation (not the cooled
    versions) Are we talking Peltier cooling or liquid gas?

    I'm not interested in military apps. I'd be happy to see what
    I could do with it in the medical field.

    Les KA9GLW
     
  4. les

    les Guest

    postscript

    I'm curious about the imagery as I 'd like to see
    what this does with a blackbody radiator as a vascular
    bed, and not one that's dependent on external IR
    illumination that's of a shorter bandwidth.
    Les
     
  5. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest


    Suggestion: look around for an old used IR spectrophotometer.
    Even the cheapest IR units may have all the usefull parts in there
    for looking in the middle IR band between 2.5 and 16 micron.
    Have fun!
     
  6. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest

    There are cooled imagers and uncooled thermal imagers.
    (that's the distinction between "IR" and thermal imagers;wavelength."IR"
    covers 850-12000nm,but "thermal" imagers use long-wave IR,8-12um)

    IIRC,Raytheon makes an uncooled one at "relatively" low cost for fire and
    emergency workers.
    It's based on a bolometer array,not a CCD or CMOS sensor.
     
  7. mike

    mike Guest

    I have the older Argus one used by the fire department.
    Closest thing to a description that I've found says that it's a vidicon
    with a coating that emits electrons when stimulated by IR. Apparently
    this technology was short-lived and soon replaced by solid state
    versions.
    It's kinda cool to see your footprints in the carpet as you walk across
    it. And you can sure see the heat leaks in your house.

    Problem is that it's no good closer than about 8 feet.
    If I could get my hands on a lens that would let me look at circuit
    boards in operation, I'd be a happy camper. IR imagers make great short
    finders.
    mike

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  8. les

    les Guest

    I do have an old IR spectrophotometer that uses a flame to
    volitolize the specimen and chart the emission. That's useful
    to discriminate relative spectral emissions and analyze the chemical
    components. What I need is an imaging system akin to the FLIR.
     
  9. les

    les Guest

    Jim...good, now I'm getting some useful info.
    This bolometer, which I've read about in astronomy articles is
    used for single-point detection. How is this device structured
    to deliver an image ? The Raytheon imager must "scan" somehow.
    This is why, in my mind, it appears more similar to a CCD in
    function.
    Please fill me in how this bolometer is adapted.
    And , yes, I'm looking at the 8-12um bandwidth for my project.
    Is the bolometer array and driving ICs on the market as components?

    Les KA9GLW
     
  10. les

    les Guest

    I have the older Argus one used by the fire department.
    Mike....that is a really neat device. I'd find that interesting too.
    As you mentioned, it could be useful in novel things, or in determining
    where to beef up the home insulation. Last winter I had this very thought
    as my gas bills rose......
    Depending on the array used (this is what I keep asking about since
    I don't know if the device is a parallel array or serial meaning a single
    lens ) it could be a matter of finding an accesory lens to "correct" the
    focal point, or extending the lens from the body of the device akin to
    microphotography. Problems are stabilizing the lens, and a shallow depth of
    field, plus loss of illumination...making the scope less sensitive.
    I'd go for an accessory lens, for cost and flexibility. The added
    complication is the refractive index of glass lenses in the subterranean
    world is different
    and focusing would require trail-and-error to compensate for this by
    extending the focal plane forward of the normal spectrum. If glass isn't
    useful at this frequency, perhaps quartz is used. I'm not sure what optics
    are down there. I'm familiar with upper band IR, but haven't had experience
    with the other stuff.
     
  11. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest

    It is an 2-D ARRAY of individual bolometer devices scaled to the proper
    size for the intended frequencies(8-12um),and addressed the same as any
    CMOS or CCD array.
    No,it's a staring array lie a video camera sensor(CCD chip)
     
  12. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest

    From Googling "handheld low cost thermal imager"

    http://www.manufacturingtalk.com/news/iac/iac114.html

    http://www.temperatures.com/tivendors.html

    http://www.ir55.com/IR.html

    there's a lot more,go look for yourself.
     
  13. mike

    mike Guest

    Glass is useful. I think the lenses are made of Selenium. And they
    ain't cheap enough to experiment with.
    mike

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  14. mike

    mike Guest

    My bad, lenses are Germainum. Same diff.
    mike

    --
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    ..
    Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
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  15. les

    les Guest

    GERMANIUM ? The same stuff they dope solid-state
    components with? How interesting.....I wonder if they even
    appear like lenses in normal light...
    This reminds me how microwave and x-rays can be focused by
    elaborate means using "lenses" as well.
    If I see a surplus outfit for germanium lenses, I'll know what that's
    all about now. Also, I'll see if I can pass the source along to you.

    BTW, how lucky for you to find this Argus. Did you get it at an
    auction at the firehouse? I know they have them at rare times.
    Did it cost you an arm?
     
  16. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest


    Current (old and new) spectrophotometers never use a flame
    as an IR source, it probably is an UV or VIS-able unit. Or
    it could even be an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer.
     
  17. mike

    mike Guest

    I traded it for a $1 HP15C calculator at a ham radio swap meet.
    Probably could have gotten $150 for the calculator on ebay tho.
    Cool toy, but didn't take long to get bored with it.
    mike

    --
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    ..
    Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
    ht<removethis>tp://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
     
  18. les

    les Guest

    You are correct.. It's an A.A. Spectrophotometer Model 1000 by
    Varian Techtron.
    Did you have a question about it?
     
  19. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest

    Just a suggestion, if you ever scrap it, it maybe
    a good idea to keep the hollow cathode tube,
    grating and detector. If you look around at the
    below link (one line) than you'll find lots of info
    regarding IR units/components.
    http://www.newport.com/searchresults.aspx?searchfor=IR germanium&lang=&typ
    e=0

    Have fun!
    ---
     
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