Thermal-IR Camera (video)

Hi,

I have in project to build a thermal-IR camera. I know there’s already a arduino project to build something like this. What i want is something more in the range of a video camera with thermal-IR, not something that has to scan a area to make a thermal image. I want to it be live. I want to use this to go into the woods and see wildlife.

I was think of using the MLX90620 sensor. I don’t know if this is possible. Any input from you guys would be appreciated.

Thanks alot.

You're going to have to build some kind of scanning mechanism. (TICM is a useful search term) How are your precision mechanics skills?

I was think of using the MLX90620 sensor.

It is not just a matter of wiring up the sensor to get a 16 by 4 pixel image. You have to focus an image onto the sensor. For that you need a lens that works at far IR. That means a germanium or silicon lens and that means big $. A lot of money for a very small image.

Hi,

So building something in the line of this: http://www.flir.com/cs/apac/en/view/?id=54138 is pretty much impossible?

That device is almost certainly a staring array, not mechanically scanned. It clearly isn't impossible though, because you can buy one. It is probably also near-IR.

Hi,

Thanks for your inputs. I know i could buy one, but i'm going to have more fun building one.

As Mike said, the optics are exotic (most common glass is opaque/reflective to the sorts of wavelengths you're interested in - find some thermal footage on YouTube and try looking into cars) and a 16 x 4 image by itself is very limited, so the scanning mechanism is essential.

ovcrash: So building something in the line of this: http://www.flir.com/cs/apac/en/view/?id=54138 is pretty much impossible?

It says:-

Employing either a 320 × 240 or 640 × 480 FLIR thermal imaging core with advanced image-processing algorithms,

So an arduino with a 320 X 240 image will need 76.8K bytes, how is this going to fit into the 2K SDRM? So building something like that with an arduino is impossible.

I was assuming that you'd be reading and sending a row (or even a pixel) at a time, not as an entire image. However, there remains the problem of digitising at video rates. This really ins't Arduino territory, unless you're only using it to drive the scanning mechanism.

I bought an excellent IR hunters camera that only takes 2ma while sensing, and costs $100. You can't build that for less!