ULIS, a leading manufacturer of thermal image sensors for commercial and military applications, has announced the availability of Pico640 Gen2.
Pico640 Gen2 is a VGA format 17-micron thermal image sensor for 24/7 security night vision, a market where makers of surveillance cameras are demanding significantly improved thermal imaging capabilities with seamless integration.
For decades, the complexity and cost of thermal imaging technologies originally designed for military applications precluded them from commercial use. Newer thermal technologies based on microbolometers, a MEMS (microelectromechnical systems) technology that ULIS develops, have changed the landscape by making thermal imaging more accessible.
In addition to security and surveillance systems, ULIS’s new sensor can also be used in cameras for outdoor leisure, such as nature observation or hunting.
“ULIS has designed Pico640 Gen2 to match increasing requirements from fixed and portable camera makers for high standard thermal imaging technologies that are easier to install,” said Jean-François Delepau. “We have stripped away the complexity by closely aligning our thermal image sensor with all-important commercial standards. Customers can now have easier access to top-notch thermal image resolution at longer detection ranges with enduring performance at an affordable cost. We are eager to show security and surveillance professionals the benefits of our Pico brand products.”
Pico640 Gen2 is quick and easy to install because it uses Hync/VSync clocking and an I2C standard communication protocol that are compatible with commercial camera standards. In addition, Pico640 Gen2 is easy to calibrate, even in shutterless mode, due to the predictability of the sensor’s behavioral patterns over varying operating temperatures.
Other significant improvements include better image quality through higher image resolution (>300kpixels). This means that users can capture the most minute details up to a distance of several hundred meters. The product offers faster frame rates from 30Hz to 120Hz that provide more fluid images. No matter how fast an object is moving, captured images remain unblurred.
Another parameter, the NEDT (Noise Equivalent Differential Temperature), has also been upgraded. NEDT enables a longer detection range and crisper images; the lower the NEDT, the sharper the image. Dipping far below 50mK means that this model has achieved a more than 15% improvement over earlier generations, without any trade-off in power consumption. It operates at less than 130mW with a 60Hz frame rate. This is in contrast to other thermal imaging sensors in this category, which tend to consume more power, typically >200 to 350mW at an equivalent frame rate.
All Pico640 Gen2 features are housed in ceramic packaging, a cost-saving production technique ULIS first introduced to the market ten years ago. It has shown its value and vacuum integrity in the 500,000 ULIS thermal image sensors already in the field.
ULIS’ Gen2 products will be displayed at SECON, an international security conference and exhibition taking place March 18 – 20, 2015 in South Korea, at booth #E39. SECON draws close to 38,000 visitors annually.