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APPLICATIONS AND FUTURE TRENDS IN THERMAL IMAGERS

CAPT P K SINGH

AIM
TO ACQUAINT THE STUDENT OFFRS WITH VARIOUS APPLICATIONS AND FUTURE TRENDS IN THERMAL IMAGERS

PREVIEW
NIGHT VISION WHAT IS THERMAL IMAGING WORKING OF THERMAL IMAGERS APPLICATIONS OF THERMAL IMAGERS FUTURE TRENDS

NIGHT VISION
ABILITY TO SEE AT NIGHT USING ELECTRO OPTIC DEVICES TYPES
ACTIVE IR ILLUMINATION PASSIVE IMAGE INTENSIFICATION THERMAL IMAGING

INTRODUCTION
THE CONCEPT OF THERMAL IMAGING IS TRACED BACK TO THE 1800s AND BRITISH ASTRONOMER SIR WILLIAM HERSHEL. HERSHEL DISCOVERED THAT COLORS BELOW THE COLOR RED IN THE VISIBLE SPECTRUM ARE INVISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE WITHOUT THE USE OF A PRISM. THESE CALORIFIC RAYS, NOW KNOWN AS INFRARED RAYS, ARE THE BASIS FOR TODAYS TIC TECHNOLOGY.

INTRODUCTION
AS WITH MANY TECHNICAL ADVANCES, THERMAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY WAS DEVELOPED FOR MILITARY USE. THE TECHNOLOGY, ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS FLIR (FORWARD LOOKING INFRARED), WAS USED IN THE FALKLANDS WAR OF 1982 BY BRITISH SOLDIERS TO OBSERVE MOVEMENTS OF ENEMY TROOPS. THIS TECHNOLOGY WAS SOON ADDED TO MILITARY AIRCRAFT AND WIDELY USED IN THE FIRST GULF WAR. MILITARY PERSONNEL FOUND THAT USE OF THE THERMAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY GAVE THEM THE ADVANTAGE OF SIGHT IN OTHERWISE ZERO-VISIBILITY CONDITIONS. THE TECHNOLOGY ALSO ALLOWED PERSONNEL TO DETECT TARGETS FROM THE LANDSCAPE BY THEIR HEAT SIGNATURES.

WHAT IS THERMAL IMAGING


THERMAL IMAGING IS THE MEANS BY WHICH HUMANS ENABLE THEMSELVES TO SEE IN THE INFRARED PORTION OF THE SPECTRUM OF LIGHT. TYPE OF INFRA-RED IMAGING SCIENCE. ALSO KNOWN AS THERMOGRAPHY OR INFRA-RED THERMOGRAPHY.

BASICS OF LIGHT
ENERGY IS INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO WAVELENGTH. VIOLET HAS THE MOST ENERGY AND RED HAS THE LEAST.

INFRA-RED REGION
DIVIDED INTO THREE REGIONS:I. NEAR-INFRARED REGION:
CLOSEST TO VISIBLE LIGHT. WAVELENGTHS RANGING FROM 0.7 TO 1.3 MICRONS. WAVELENGTHS RANGING FROM 1.3 TO 3 MICRONS. FOR EXAMPLE: REMOTE CONTROL

II.

MID-INFRARED REGION:

III. FAR-INFRARED REGION:


LARGEST COMPONENT OF THE INFRA-RED SPECTRUM WAVELENGTHS RANGING FROM 3 TO OVER 30 MICRONS. ALSO CALLED AS THERMAL INFRA-RED REGION.

PHYSICS OF EMISSIVITY
Absorbed Incident light

Transmitted

Reflected

Incident Energy = Emitted Energy + Transmitted Energy + Reflected Energy

HOW THERMAL IMAGING WORKS


A SPECIAL LENS FOCUSES THE INFRARED LIGHT EMITTED BY ALL OF THE OBJECTS IN VIEW. THE FOCUSED LIGHT IS SCANNED BY A PHASED ARRAY OF INFRARED-DETECTOR ELEMENTS. THE DETECTOR ELEMENTS CREATE A VERY DETAILED TEMPERATURE PATTERN CALLED A THERMOGRAM. THE THERMOGRAM CREATED BY THE DETECTOR ELEMENTS IS TRANSLATED INTO ELECTRIC IMPULSES. THE IMPULSES ARE SENT TO A SIGNAL-PROCESSING UNIT, A CIRCUIT BOARD WITH A DEDICATED CHIP THAT TRANSLATES THE INFORMATION FROM THE ELEMENTS INTO DATA FOR THE DISPLAY. THE SIGNAL-PROCESSING UNIT SENDS THE INFORMATION TO THE DISPLAY, WHERE IT APPEARS AS VARIOUS COLORS DEPENDING ON THE INTENSITY OF THE INFRARED EMISSION.

HOW THERMAL IMAGING WORKS


Silicon ROIC

Focal Plane Array (FPA)


Cooled or Uncooled

Detector Dewar/Cooler Assembly


(DDCA)

Optical Imaging Engine


Thermal Imager Thermal System

Detector
(MEMS or III-V Compound)

Detector Package and Cooler/Stabilizer


(TEC or Stirling Cooler), (Hi-Vac, Low-Vac, or Backfilled Package)

Electronics

Final Packaging
Enclosure, App Software, UI

TYPES OF THERMAL IMAGING DEVICES


UN-COOLED MOST COMMON TYPE OF THERMAL-IMAGING DEVICE. THE INFRARED-DETECTOR ELEMENTS ARE CONTAINED IN A UNIT THAT OPERATES AT ROOM TEMPERATURE. COMPLETELY QUIET, ACTIVATES IMMEDIATELY AND HAS THE BATTERY BUILT RIGHT IN.

CRYOGENICALLY COOLED MORE EXPENSIVE AND MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DAMAGE FROM RUGGED USE, THESE SYSTEMS HAVE THE ELEMENTS SEALED INSIDE A CONTAINER THAT COOLS THEM TO BELOW 32 F (ZERO C). THE ADVANTAGE OF SUCH A SYSTEM IS THE INCREDIBLE RESOLUTION AND SENSITIVITY THAT RESULT FROM COOLING THE ELEMENTS. CRYOGENICALLY-COOLED SYSTEMS CAN "SEE" A DIFFERENCE AS SMALL AS 0.2 F (0.1 C) FROM MORE THAN 1,000 FT (300 M) AWAY, WHICH IS ENOUGH TO TELL IF A PERSON IS HOLDING A GUN AT THAT DISTANCE!

APPLICATIONS OF THERMAL IMAGING

MILITARY LAW ENFORCEMENT MEDICAL TRANSPORT VOLCANOLOGY

MILITARY APPLICATIONS
TOP-SPEC NIGHT-VISION EQUIPMENT DRAMATICALLY ENHANCES CAPABILITY, PROVIDING SIGNIFICANT TACTICAL BENEFITS FOR ARMED FORCES. IT CAN SUPPORT ALL TYPES OF OPERATIONS FROM RECONNAISSANCE AND CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY TO SUPPORTING ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPERATIONS. NIGHT-VISION SYSTEMS ARE USED FOR SURVEILLANCE AND TARGET ACQUISITION IN CLOSE COMBAT, AND ARE ALSO HIGHLY EFFECTIVE WHEN USED IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT.

MILITARY APPLICATIONS
TACTICAL TEAMS ARE SOME OF THE MOST AGGRESSIVE USERS OF THERMAL IMAGING EQUIPMENT. BECAUSE THE THERMAL IMAGER REQUIRES NO LIGHT AND FUNCTIONS WITHOUT EMITTING ANY BEAM OF ENERGY, IT CAN HELP TACTICAL TEAMS MAINTAIN A COMPLETE TACTICAL ADVANTAGE OVER ANY SUSPECTS INSIDE A BUILDING. NEW TECHNOLOGY USED IN INFRARED THERMAL IMAGING WEAPON SIGHTS IS HELPING TO PROVIDE SUPERIOR ENEMY RECOGNITION AT LONG RANGES, MOREACCURATE LONG-RANGE FIRING AND MUCH FASTER SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS.

LAW ENFORCEMENT
BECAUSE THE THERMAL IMAGER DOES NOT REQUIRE LIGHT AND ONLY RECEIVES HEAT ENERGY, IT CAN BE USED TO OBSERVE POTENTIAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AT A DISTANCE. BECAUSE THE HEAT SIGNATURE OF A SURFACE IS AFFECTED BY ITS MATERIAL AS WELL AS ITS DENSITY, HIDDEN COMPARTMENTS CAN BE IDENTIFIED WITH A THERMAL IMAGER. A THERMAL IMAGER CAN HELP DETECT AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN DISTURBED FROM THEIR ORIGINAL STATE, POTENTIALLY INDICATING WHERE SUSPECTS MAY HAVE BURIED EVIDENCE A THERMAL IMAGER CAN CONTRIBUTE TO OFFICER SAFETY AT A NUMBER OF SCENES.

MEDICAL APPLICATIONS
THERMOGRAPHY IS A NON-INVASIVE, NONCONTACT TOOL THAT USES THE HEAT FROM THE BODY TO AID IN MAKING DIAGNOSIS OF A HOST OF HEALTH CARE CONDITIONS. IT CAN INDICATE DEVELOPING DISEASE STATES AND BREAST CANCER EARLIER THAN ANATOMICAL EXAMINATIONS. MII CAN ALSO HELP TO IDENTIFY SOURCES OF PAIN, PARTICULARLY THOSE INVOLVING THE NEUROMUSCULAR AND CIRCULATORY SYSTEMS. IF DISEASE PROCESSES ARE PRESENT, A THERMAL IMAGER MAY DETECT THEM BEFORE SYMPTOMS BECOME APPARENT, ENABLING EARLY INTERVENTION AND PROACTIVE TREATMENT.

COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
IMAGING DEVICES TO PERFORM SYSTEMS DIAGNOSTICS. THE AUTOMOTIVE, COMMERCIAL AND MECHANICAL INDUSTRIES ARE NOW USING THERMAL AUTOMOTIVE MECHANICS WEAR THERMAL AND ULTRAVIOLET GOGGLES TO EASILY LOCATE FLUID AND AIR LEAKS IN VEHICLE ENGINES. HOME REPAIR INSPECTORS USE HAND-HELD THERMAL CAMERAS TO SPOT GAPS IN THE STRUCTURE'S INSULATION, SURVEY ROOF DAMAGE, AND PINPOINT ELECTRICAL MALFUNCTIONS.

TRANSPORTATION APPLICATIONS
NIGHT DRIVING SYSTEMS ENABLE DRIVERS TO DETECT POTENTIAL HAZARDS EARLIER IN POOR VISIBILITY SYSTEMS BASED ON THERMAL IMAGING ARE ALSO EMERGING FOR USE IN COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS (E.G. FOR PEDESTRIAN DETECTION) AND TO LOCATE THE POSITION OF A PASSENGER FOR EFFECTIVE AND SAFE AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT. THERE ARE MANY APPLICATIONS FOR THERMAL IMAGING IN THE RAILWAY ENVIRONMENT. IN AIRCRAFTS, THERMOGRAPHY IS NOW USED ROUTINELY TO LOCATE AND IDENTIFY STRESS CRACKS AND CORROSION, TO LOCATE DELAMINATION OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS, TO DETECT WATER INGRESS INTO CONTROL SURFACES AND TO DIAGNOSE SUB- SURFACE ICING

VOLCANOLOGY
VOLCANOLOGISTS MONITOR TEMPERATURE CHANGES INDICATIVE OF UPCOMING VOLCANIC ACTIVITY USING THERMOMETERS TO OBSERVE CHANGES IN THERMAL PROPERTIES OF VOLCANIC LAKES AND VENTS. THERMAL IMAGERS HELP THEM TO MONITOR LARGE, SCARCELY POPULATED AREAS WHERE MAINTENANCE OF GROUND INSTRUMENTS IS DIFFICULT AND EXPENSIVE.

FUTURE TRENDS
Dual Sensor Night Vision
THE DSNVG COMBINES AN I TUBE AND IR IMAGER INTO ONE MONOCULAR DEVICE. WHERE I IS USELESS IN TOTAL DARKNESS, IR FINDS WARM SPOTS REGARDLESS OF LIGHT CONDITIONS. IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT HAS TOO MANY WARM TARGETS TO DISCRIMINATE THE ONE YOU'RE INTERESTED IN, THE I SCOPE ALLOWS YOU TO IDENTIFY HIM VISUALLY.

FUTURE TRENDS
Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI)
IT IS A SPACE BASED DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH PROJECT SPONSORED BY E U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY(DOE), OFFICE OF NONPROLIFERATION AND NATIONAL SECURITY. MTI'S PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO DEMONSTRATE ADVANCED MULTISPECTRAL AND THERMAL IMAGING,IMAGE PROCESSING, AND ASSOCIATED TECHNOLOGIES THAT COULD BE USED IN FUTURE SYSTEMS FOR DETECTING AND CHARACTERIZING FACILITIES PRODUCING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

FUTURE TRENDS
Thermal Imaging For Lie Detection
THE MAYO CLINIC, WORKING WITH HONEYWELL LABORATORIES, HAS DEVELOPED "HIGH-DEFINITION" THERMAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY THAT MEASURES "HEAT PATTERNS CREATED BY THE FACE" THAT "CHANGE DRAMATICALLY WITH LYING." THE THERMAL IMAGER EXPLOITS WHAT APPEARS TO BE A "FRIGHT/FLIGHT" RESPONSE WHICH CAUSES BLOOD TO FLOW TO A PERSON'S EYES WHEN THEY PRACTICE DECEPTION. THE THERMAL IMAGER MEASURES THE HEAT AROUND A PERSON'S EYES TO DETERMINE IF IT HAS INCREASED DURING ANY ANSWER TO THE SCREENER'S QUESTIONS.

FUTURE TRENDS
HIGH-SPEED TRAINS SUBMERSIBLE NIGHT VISION DRIVERLESS CARS

ADVANTAGES OF THERMAL IMAGERS


CAN BE USED TO DETECT OBJECTS IN DARK AREAS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY WEATHER NEED NO AMBIENT LIGHT FOR OPERATION SOURCE CAN NOT BE DETECTED CAN SEE THROUGH FOG, HAZE ETC CAPABLE OF CATCHING MOVING TARGETS IN REAL TIME CAN BE USED TO MEASURE OR OBSERVE IN AREAS INACCESSIBLE OR HAZARDOUS FOR OTHER METHODS NON-DESTRUCTIVE TEST METHOD

CONCLUSION
THERMAL IMAGERS HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE THEIR INTRODUCTION. PRIMARILY DESIGNED FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS, THEY ARE NOW FINDING USE IN MANY MANY MORE ARENAS OF LIFE. LIKE THE MILITARY INVENTED TECHNOLOGIES THAT HAVE COME BEFORE, THERMAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY WILL MOVE MORE INTO THE MAINSTREAM AS IT BECOMES MORE COMPACT, IMAGE QUALITY INCREASES AND MORE FUNCTIONALITY IS PUT INTO THE KIT. WITH INCREASING APPLICATIONS IN VARIOUS FIELDS THERMAL IMAGERS ARE ALL SET TO BECOME A HOUSEHOLD UTILITY IN TIMES TO COME

THANK YOU