An important parameter of thermal devices: Detection & Recognition

26/11/2020 by Raghav Jain


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Thermal Imaging technology enables one to see the thermal footprint of an object or a human and recreates the scenario for a soldier on the field. Thermal Imaging devices have been extremely useful when it comes to surveillance and target acquisition by armed forces, especially when operating in dark and rough climatic conditions. Infrared Sensors, primarily known as Micro-bolometer Sensors, are at the core of a thermal imaging device and they work by detecting the Infrared Radiation (IR) from the background and recreating the scenario by putting together multiple pixels.  

One of the important parameters when considering a thermal imaging device for use by armed forces is Detection & Recognition Distance (DR).

Detection Distance is the distance at which an object, human or animal, can be distinguished from the background. To detect an object, it needs to be covered by either two and more pixels. While detection is important as it is the first line of alertness, we cannot determine what/who is being detected at this distance.

On the other hand, the Recognition Distance is the distance at which one can accurately determine whether it is an object, a human, or an animal.   

To select the right sensor meeting the application requirements, these DR ranges have to be first, perfectly defined but also assessed as per globally adopted industrial standards. Understand the systematic working of Detection & Recognition in the below images.

Detection & Recognition Image 1

Detection & Recognition Image 2

Left image: Detection - targets can be distinguished against the background
Right image: Recognition - a human is walking along the fence

During a combat operation, a soldier needs to be clear with his vision in pitch dark conditions, MKU’s Thermal weapon sight helps to detect minute temperature differences to deliver clear images and recognize hidden objects in adverse conditions that allow soldiers to function confidently.


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