Machine Vision Imaging System
Infrared cameras are cameras that use infrared radiation as their primary source of energy. Unlike visible light cameras, infrared cameras have much smaller wavelengths, ranging from less than 400 nm to just over 500 nm (or about 100 times shorter than the wavelength of visible light). In fact, the most popular types of infrared cameras today are those that use the low-light detection technology known as “short-wavelength infrared cameras” or SLIC. A thermographic camera consists of an array of infrared detectors, and unlike a normal camera that makes an image by forming an image by making use of light, an infrared camera makes its images using infrared radiation. Instead of making an image with light, this type of camera makes its images by emitting heat and using this heat to form an image.
Uses of IR Vision
Unlike other types of cameras that make their images with visible or infrared light, an infrared camera makes its images by using heat and emitting it into an area. The infrared sensor in an IR camera reads heat radiation, which passes through the camera’s glass lens and into the camera’s detector. The detector then compares the infrared heat radiation against a number of parameters, including color and texture, to determine if the light detected comes from an infrared source. Because infrared light has a wavelength much shorter than the wavelength of visible light, these cameras can read infrared signals at a much lower frequency. Thus, they can scan an area that can be measured in just a few hundred nanometers. These cameras may make images in very small areas, but are generally good at scanning large areas in just a few seconds or so. Most cameras have an image stabilization mechanism, to allow for continuous image transmission even when the camera is moving quickly.
Machine Vision Imaging
To capture images at a higher frequency, an IR thermal imager may be used. Thermal imaging can be applied to video or still images and is very effective for creating images that look like those produced by fireworks. Some IR thermal imaging systems allow for automatic image processing, while other systems provide more manual control. IR video cameras may also be used in industrial applications, such as for inspecting machinery. We refer to this as a Machine Vision Imaging System.