Author Topic: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market  (Read 988 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11618
  • Country: gb
In the last year we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of budget thermal imaging cameras that are present in the marketplace. This is mainly due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the release of new miniature imaging cores from China.

I thought it might be of interest to list the miniature cores that are to be found in many budget thermal cameras in this thread and we can also identify which cameras use which cores, if known. We can also speculate based on specifications  :-+

Miniature consumer grade imaging cores…. The List

FLIR

Lepton 2.    80 x 60 pixels
Lepton 2.5  80 x 60 pixels Radiometric
Lepton 3.0. 160 x 120 pixels
Lepton 3.5. 160 x 120 pixels Radiometric

Guide Sensmart

TIMO 120.   120 x 90 pixels Radiometric
TIMO 256.   256 x 192 pixels Radiometric

Infiray IRAY

Tiny 1A.       256 x 192 pixels
Tiny 1B.       256 x 192 pixels Radiometric
S0.              256 x 192 pixels Radiometric

Seek Thermal

MicroCore.   200 x 150 pixels
Std Core.     200 x 150 pixels Radiometric
Pro Core.     320 x 240 pixels Radiometric
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 09:13:08 pm by Fraser »
 
The following users thanked this post: ANTALIFE

Offline Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11618
  • Country: gb
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 03:07:22 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Vipitis

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 804
  • Country: de
  • aspiring thermal photography enthusiast
Re: Roundup of current miniature imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2021, 03:16:32 pm »
I posted a list of miniature cores a while ago, but I can't remember in what thread. There were more like boson sized tho.
 

Offline Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11618
  • Country: gb
Re: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2021, 05:00:03 pm »
Vipitis,

I decided to focus on the miniature cores of Seek Mosaic size and smaller as these are what are appearing in the many budget thermal imaging cameras coming out of China at the moment. I keep seeing new models mentioned here, on the forum, and I always wonder which imaging core the OEM has chosen to use. There appears to be a very understandable move away from frame rate limited USA sourced cores towards the high frame rate China produced cores. Some time ago I recommended exactly this move to a Chinese thermal camera manufacturer. Using Chinese imaging cores for Chinese built thermal cameras makes sense on many levels. They just needed suitable cores to use. They now have that choice with Infiray and Guide Sensmart  :-+ These two core suppliers seem to dominate the budget consumer grade Chinese cameras now. Some are still using Seek Thermal or FLIR cores but I cannot see that continuing for very long unless the US based cores become significantly cheaper, better performing and more easily obtained. The frame rate restriction may be less of an issue but customers may start to expect 25fps as a minimum now that such is easily available.

You can be certain that Infiray (IRAY) and Guide Sensmart are not sitting on their hands and will be actively developing the next generation of miniature imaging cores.

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 05:30:14 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline flyingfishfinger

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 35
  • Country: us
Re: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 08:34:52 pm »
Curious how small we can make the 320x240 Seek Mosaic if we remove the case / shutter... it would certainly be nice to get a MicroCore sized sensor at 320x240. Any thoughts?

R
 


Offline Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11618
  • Country: gb
Re: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2021, 01:18:50 pm »
Flyingfishfinger,

To answer your question……

1. Resolution is not King if performance is severely lacking in other areas such as image noise and lens quality.

2. The Seek Thermal Mosaic Core is a 2 part design. The ‘front’ PCB contains the microbolometer and a few ancillary components such as an LDO, and sometimes a small ARM processor chip. The PCB dimensions are those of the width and height of the mosaic module. The second PCB is on the end of a flex cable and is the same dimensions as the front (microbolometer) PCB. It is mounted remotely to address some local heating issues.

3. If you dismantle the Seek Mosaic core you will have a microbolometer PCB with a solenoid module that drives the FFC shutter. The lens assembly is part of the chassis module. If you remove the FFC shutter assembly you end up with a PCB that is very low profile but unusable ! The SeeK thermal camera cores need the FFC shutter assembly to work and a lens is still needed to focus the scene onto the microbolometer. All will add thickness and bulk to the core assembly.

4. Seek Thermal did a decent job of the compact QVGA thermal imaging core hardware design. It cannot be made much smaller without some serious challenges along the way. They produced the smaller imaging core with lower resolution and no FFC shutter to serve a market that needs a tiny imaging core as a priority and is willing to accept the compromised performance that results.

5. If you want a decent quality thermal imaging core that will definitely challenge the Seek Thermal imaging cores in the marketplace, I recommend that you look at the Infiray S0 and it’s smaller brother, the Tiny1. I believe the Tiny1 to be used in the UTI-260b camera that is receiving good reviews. Guide Sensmart offer the TIMO core series in two resolution and these may also be worth a look, though I personally like the Infiray offerings.

As a final comment, you need to compare the Seek QVGA core imaging performance with that of an Infiray S0 core before making a decision to go with a Seek Thermal product. I think you will be surprised ! As I said at the beginning…. Slightly better resolution can be worthless if a core suffers from high levels of image noise and is lacking in image processing performance. The Infiray cores are also 25fps update  :-+

If I were to build a thermal ‘endoscope’ or ‘borescope’ I would use the Infiray Tiny1 imaging core in the head assembly.


Fraser
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 01:24:02 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11618
  • Country: gb
Re: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2021, 01:54:39 pm »
The Seek Thermal QVGA microbolometer PCB as used in a Seek Reveal PRO.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 05:39:35 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline flyingfishfinger

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 35
  • Country: us
Re: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2021, 08:22:39 pm »
Ah, the Infiray Tiny1-B looks like it might be interesting. I would be comparing it to Seeks' MicroCore combined with Joe-C's excellent software which does wonders for processing. I can't find availability though, do you know where to get the Tiny1-B?

R
 

Offline Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11618
  • Country: gb
Re: Roundup of miniature thermal imaging cores used in the consumer market
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2021, 08:27:13 pm »
Sorry, I can only suggest contacting Infiray directly as I do not know of any sales agents for their cores. They may advise you to contact a local company that can order the core for you.

The other option would be to buy the Infiray P2 that, I believe, contains the Tiny1 core. Sometimes a complete consumer product is the cheapest way to obtain an imaging core ! With the P2 you gain compatibility with a mobile phone app as well.

https://www.infiray.com/P2.html

https://www.aliexpress.com/i/1005002395381459.html

https://m.banggood.com/P2-Thermal-Imager-IR-Sensor-Resolution-256+192-Mobile-Phone-Infrared-Thermal-Imager-Camera-Thermal-Leak-Diagnosis-Thermal-Sensor-Thermometer-p-1864876.html

You would need to check that the P2 specification is adequate for your needs and I cannot comment on compatibility with an SDK or 3rd party software. You would need to check with Infiray for a suitable SDK availability.

Fraser
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 08:42:46 pm by Fraser »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf