Infrared scopes

  • Thread starter rppearso
  • Start date
  • #1
204
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Does anyone know the ISBN of a good text book that goes into VERY deep details to build a zoom capable IR scope. Also the scope would have to give contrast such as show trees and other things that dont give off IR so that you are not just viewing a silouette of something in a blank frame.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
26
0
I dont know of any book but I have some experience in this field. Just thought I should warn you:
That sound like one of the most difficult projects you can get yourself into.
You will need knowledge of the following:

* DSP/Microcontroller programming
* High performance analog amplifiers
* Cryogenic systems
* Optics
* Silicon lithography

(google bolometer array)

Or if you go the generation 1/2 route:

* Vacuum tubes/Vacuum systems
* High voltage systems
* Optics
* Micro Lithography

(google microchannel plate)

How about just buying a chinese thermal camera module?
Yes they are available, I have seen them on globalsources.com I think it was.
 
  • #3
204
3
Hello Jimmy,

Thank you for the kind response, just a little about my back ground, I have a BS in chemical engineering with silicon transistor fabrication and am working on a masters in EE, preferably with an area of special interest in optics (maybe power to so I can use the masters to increase my marketability but thats another issue). Obviously I am not in a position to do solid state in my garage so I would have to spec out and order the parts or try to use prefabricated components that are avalible on the market. Even ordering parts and pieces off the market I still have to know what Im doing, and would like to know how the parts are made and the core principals involved.

I kind of assumed there would not be a single book on this topic but was hoping to find someone that could direct me in the right direction becasue each text is like 100$ a pop so I want to only get what I need.

Right now I am taking undergrad level E&M and my professor has never worked with IR before so he does not know, this little project will not be done quick, I figure I will work on it in tangent with my MS over the next 4 years or so.

If you would be willing could you message me with your email or a yahoo IM/facebook that would be awesome.

Ultimatly I would like to use this for paranormal activity research, I live in an area where there is alot of woods and vast areas where there is no people and I know there are things going on out there that we cant see. Anyways hopefully you dont think thats crazy and stop posting lol.

Part of this is wanting an IR scope and part of it is knowing I can do this, how cool would it be if you built one, maybe not from scratch since some parts would have to be ordered but pretty close.
 
  • #4
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FLIR systems in the U.S. sells bare sensor chips and readout ASIC's.
http://www.flir.com/cvs/cores/components/

Part of this is wanting an IR scope and part of it is knowing I can do this, how cool would it be if you built one
I hear you :) That was the motivation for my thermal camera project as well. I'm about 60% done after 600+ hours of work. For a still image camera of 96x128 pixels. But I have stopped
working on it for now, since the commercial aspect sort of disappeared:
Prices have gone down *a lot* in the last few years, from $10k to about $2k.
I'm guessing that in a few years they will be $1000.

Ultimatly I would like to use this for paranormal activity research
I think you will get a lot of images of nocturnal animals/insects. But that would be cool as well wouldn't it? Maybe you can find an undocumented/"new" animal :)
 
  • #5
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So I was looking at the masters course outline and it looks like to learn about DSP and microcontrolers it would be helpful to take either a digital signals processing class at the 600 level or a digital image processing class. Im sure you could make a DPS that was not microscale as well but making it small would be nice. I want to stay away from all the cryogenic cooling and warm up times etc so a bolometer sounds ideal although im not sure how the IR sensor does not over heat even in a vacuum.
 
  • #6
26
0
The bolometer elements does not overheat because:
1) There is always some heat loss through conduction to the substrate.
2) There is always some heat loss through blackbody radiation to/from the sensor case.
3) When designing bolometer elements you *want* to have some heat loss, otherwise you would get a strong after image on the sensor.
4) The heat flux into the bolometer is a function of the difference in temperatures between the object imaged and the bolometer; If the object is cooler than the bolometer this will effectively cool the bolometer somewhat.

Anyway the reason for cooling the bolometers are that the sensitivity is greatly increased
since the incoming radiation power is a function of the difference in temperatures raised to the fourth power.
 
  • #7
204
3
so you could basicly have a refigerated case for the IR scope, I talked to a friend who does microcontrolers and he said they were pretty easy to program. So another question I have is the optics for the scope, you would obviously have to have a different convection so you can focus IR vs visible light.
 
  • #8
204
3
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0131873741/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

Would a digital signal processing (DSP) class also cover analouge amplifiers and microcontrolers? What would a digital image processing cover

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0121197905/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

As far as the silicon lithography, I have done this but do not have the means to make a microbolometer or microcontroler from scratch so I will end up ordering them as long as they dont cost a forture which they should not considering what is in my computer is probably 10 times more complicated and is reasonably affordable.

As far as cooling the case, I think I could design that and most of the time the ambient air temp will be low enough that it wont even be an issue.

The optics will be tough, I will probalby have to take a class with hecht as the text and then possibly a class in fourier optics.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #9
204
3
The bolometer elements does not overheat because:
1) There is always some heat loss through conduction to the substrate.
2) There is always some heat loss through blackbody radiation to/from the sensor case.
3) When designing bolometer elements you *want* to have some heat loss, otherwise you would get a strong after image on the sensor.
4) The heat flux into the bolometer is a function of the difference in temperatures between the object imaged and the bolometer; If the object is cooler than the bolometer this will effectively cool the bolometer somewhat.

Anyway the reason for cooling the bolometers are that the sensitivity is greatly increased
since the incoming radiation power is a function of the difference in temperatures raised to the fourth power.
So I have been doing quite a bit of research on this and it turns out that you can order the advanced VLSI micro controlers on sparkfun.com as well as the LCD display, the crux is the microbolo meter itself, the only place I could find that sells them in FLIR and they are a fortune. I researched further into the actual manufacture of a microbolo meter and from what I could find it is a 10-15 step masking process to make one, I have had microelectronics in my chemE undergrad and have taken several undergrad prereqs in EE to prep for my MS in EE and I think it would be doable to set up a process to make one of these. Does anyone know of a text ISBN that goes into the detailed steps to making one of these? Since I have experience in microelectronics fabrication I looked up the cost of teh basic equipment and the most expensive components are the plasma etcher and the ovens for doping, however, the plasma etcher can be substituted by chemical etching and I MAY be able to rent out time in an art kiln if there is any doping (will have to check the required temp ranges).

FLIR has their microbolo meters priced WAY to high, from what I have read a microbolo meter is numerous orders of magnitude simpler than the processor in your computer yet they want a fortune for them, there is alot of room for competetion there ..... unless of course this is a secret proprietary method that no one knows about and no text exists with any truely useful information, which I highly doubt considering how long this stuff has been around.

The only other thing would be having a housing built and figuring out how to zoom.

The last angle will be to figure out how to display both visible light image and IR image on the same LCD display without having a separate scope so that the image you are seeing with the IR and VL is the same and not offset. I wonder if you could put the IR sensor behind the VL sensor and make the VL sensor in such a way that the IR radiation will pass through unobstructed, of course then there are zoom issues and the lense for VL would have to be invisible to the IR and you would have to figure out how to get an even zoom.

But for now I just want to figure out how a microbolo meter is made, vacuum pumps are not to expensive for metal deposition, however, I have not priced all the chemicals, that purple solution you use before you mask and expose to UV could be pricy. I know boron dopant is not cheap.

If there is any company that sells a solid high resolution microbolo that would be ideal, not some crappy one they put in toys.

I am still not sure what the high performance analog amplifier plays in all this? The new micro controlers you can buy have analog to digital inputs to display on the LCD built in which is pretty sweet, so its just a matter of programing the MC to interface with a microbolo meter.
 
  • #10
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I found a company called redshift but they dont seem to have any product avalibility so it makes me wonder if its a valid product yet, they seem to be making exactly what I have been conceptualizing (even with the visible light overlay) but their sales line is disconnected and I could not get ahold of anyone during regular buisness hours so it makes me wonder. They are not publicly traded but claim to be financed through some pretty major companies, emerson (who make fisher control valve) being one.

http://www.redshiftsystems.com/Site/TechnologyProducts/OpticalThermalImaging/tabid/54/Default.aspx [Broken]

Its just strang you cant buy the sensor and that no one is picking up. It looks like the concept for this new 4 mask step IR sensor have been around since 06, I wonder if its really viable. I tried contacting my professor that I took microelectronics with to see if he has more knowlage.

I am not getting to many hits anymore, is this something not many on here are interested in?
 
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  • #11
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3
Seriously no one can help me with this issue. I am struggling with how to combine all the individual wires from the bolometer into a plastic plug that can be read by a micro controler without degrading resolution.
 
  • #13
204
3
You might like to have a look at this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Panasonic-Lumix...005776?pt=Digital_Cameras&hash=item45f53aa950

It is a normal digital camera with a times 8 zoom and 14 MP but fitted with filters to allow Infra-Red usage.

I don't know how it would go at detecting paranormal things, but at least it is a working camera which you could use immediately.
Thank you so much for your reply

I am now also looking for aviation purposes, I am finishing up my pilots licence and would like to have something to see through the weather with that is head mounted in case I find myself in IFR conditions. I emailed FLIR to see if I could get something like that for around 3-4k I may have to get break down and buy one but I cant afford 10k for one, I am also extremely interested in the technology to making a micro bolometer or just IR technology in general. I have solid state expereince so a solid text book even at a graduate level would be sweet that went into the masking steps and theory or IR and how they are interfaced with other devices. I found a company in australia that sells the individual components and sent them an email so we will see how much they are. For aviation I dont want something less than being able to see through clouds to see the run way, these digital cameras are cool but I dont know that I would want to rely on one for my life in a plane and they did not appear to be full blown forward looking IR.
 
  • #14
vk6kro
Science Advisor
4,081
40
I thought you were looking for spooks:

Ultimatly I would like to use this for paranormal activity research, I live in an area where there is alot of woods and vast areas where there is no people and I know there are things going on out there that we cant see.
 
  • #15
204
3
I was originally but realized it was way to expensive just for looking for ghosts and aliens. However for aviation its a very valid application. I found a company in australia that sells aviation units for 7k which is about as cheap as I will likely find them.

I still however would love to find a really good graduate level text on this specific subject that goes into manufacuter and principals, it seems to be really elusive to find anyone that knows anything about specific texts on this subject but im going to keep trying.

So worse case I can at least get a unit for 7k to mount on my plane for safety if im ever caught in IFR conditions.
 

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