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Proceedings Paper

Development of infrared scene projectors for testing fire-fighter cameras
Author(s): Jorge E. Neira; Joseph P. Rice; Francine K. Amon
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Paper Abstract

We have developed two types of infrared scene projectors for hardware-in-the-loop testing of thermal imaging cameras such as those used by fire-fighters. In one, direct projection, images are projected directly into the camera. In the other, indirect projection, images are projected onto a diffuse screen, which is then viewed by the camera. Both projectors use a digital micromirror array as the spatial light modulator, in the form of a Micromirror Array Projection System (MAPS) engine having resolution of 800 x 600 with mirrors on a 17 micrometer pitch, aluminum-coated mirrors, and a ZnSe protective window. Fire-fighter cameras are often based upon uncooled microbolometer arrays and typically have resolutions of 320 x 240 or lower. For direct projection, we use an argon-arc source, which provides spectral radiance equivalent to a 10,000 Kelvin blackbody over the 7 micrometer to 14 micrometer wavelength range, to illuminate the micromirror array. For indirect projection, an expanded 4 watt CO2 laser beam at a wavelength of 10.6 micrometers illuminates the micromirror array and the scene formed by the first-order diffracted light from the array is projected onto a diffuse aluminum screen. In both projectors, a well-calibrated reference camera is used to provide non-uniformity correction and brightness calibration of the projected scenes, and the fire-fighter cameras alternately view the same scenes. In this paper, we compare the two methods for this application and report on our quantitative results. Indirect projection has an advantage of being able to more easily fill the wide field of view of the fire-fighter cameras, which typically is about 50 degrees. Direct projection more efficiently utilizes the available light, which will become important in emerging multispectral and hyperspectral applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6942, Technologies for Synthetic Environments: Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing XIII, 694207 (11 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.777320
Show Author Affiliations
Jorge E. Neira, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Joseph P. Rice, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Francine K. Amon, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6942:
Technologies for Synthetic Environments: Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing XIII
Robert Lee Murrer Jr., Editor(s)

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