Thermal camera aids engine design

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SNECMA, the French aerospace engineering company, is using Cedip Infrared Systems’ thermal camera in the design and testing of its engines.

The Silver 450M IR camera has been used to discover how different turbine blades would react under extreme vibrations. The camera detected the beginning of crack development as the blades were subjected to powerful air blasts.

As a crack develops, the temperature at that point rises by several hundred degrees, over a period of just a few milliseconds. The Silver 450M needed to have an excellent spatial definition to detect such a small area of change, as well as a high frame frequency and large dynamic range of up to 800°C.

The camera uses an integration time of just one microsecond and a smart triggering mechanism allowing the image capture to be synchronised with event.