1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Focal Plane Array

    I'm looking into purchasing a Thermal Imaging unit. Information on the internet is very complex for a newcomer. Additionally, there seems to be an extremely wide range of thermal imaging devices for various applications. At this point I'm very confused about what sort of unit I should get.

    First of all, I'm investigating the purchase of TI for use in private security, and I realize this is a forum for firefighters, but there is almost no online TI community so I've end up here.

    Here's a specific question:
    FLIR VSR-6 - http://thermalvideo.com/thermal-imag...flir_vsr-6.htm
    Thermal-Eye X-150 - http://www.morovision.com/thermal_imagers/x200xp.htm

    The VSR-6 says it has a "640x480 InSb focal plane array" while the X-150 says it has a "Focal Plane Array Pixel Count (Resolution) 160 x 120", yet the X150 is more expensive and says it has a much greater range. Can anyone explain what this means?


  2. #2
    Protective Economist
    Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    The FPA is the infrared detector on the device. It is a wafer with a number of individual pixels that sense heat and translate that into electricity. The number of pixels, just like with a digital camera, is normally related to image quality. This is more important the larger the image becomes.

    The text at the top of the VSR6 page indicates a 160x120 detector, not a 640x480. Based on the $3500 price, I'd guess on the smaller detector. It also has a 7.5 Hz refresh, which is very low. The X200XP is the same size detector, but has a 30 Hz rate.

    Detection range is an estimate and can be affected by the lens configuration (the X200XP has different lenses; the VSR6 does not). Also, one of these is portable, the other is not...there's a price for that as well.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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