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High-speed, longwave thermal cameras

FLIR Systems has introduced two high-speed, longwave thermal cameras for demanding science and research applications, the FLIR X6900sc SLS and FLIR X8500sc SLS. Shown at the SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing convention in Anaheim, California (US), both cameras provide the faster frame rates, shorter snapshot speeds, and wider temperature ranges needed for the most demanding scientific research applications. 

The new thermal cameras are based on FLIR’s highest-speed, midwave thermal camera models, the X6900sc and X8500sc, but feature strained layer superlattice (SLS) detectors filtered for longwave infrared. These SLS detectors produce high frame rates and wide temperature ranges, as well as integration times that are more than 12 times faster than their midwave counterparts. FLIR combined this advanced technology with popular features of high-speed visible cameras, such as remote triggering and precise synchronization, to produce high-performance cameras that can capture meaningful data for anything from aerospace research to composite materials testing.

The FLIR X6900sc SLS high-speed longwave thermal camera captures full-frame 640×512 thermal images at 1004 frames per second, at temperatures up to 3000 degrees Celsius. The FLIR DVIR™, a removable storage device that comes standard with the X6900sc SLS, saves up to 26 seconds of data to on-camera RAM without dropping frames. With advanced triggering options and an automatic, four-position filter wheel, this camera offers the functionality to stop motion on high-speed events both in the lab and at the test range.

The FLIR X8500sc SLS records up to 181 frames per second of full 1280×1024 HD thermal imagery. This camera also features the FLIR DVIR which saves up to 36 seconds of data to on-camera RAM without dropping frames, and can measure temperatures up to 3000 degrees Celsius. The X8500sc SLS streams high-speed, 14-bit data simultaneously over Gigabit Ethernet, Camera Link, and CoaXpress for live viewing, analysis, or recording.

“Offering an SLS-version of FLIR’s X6900 and X8500 science cameras raises the bar on high-speed thermal imaging,” said Rickard Lindvall, Vice President and General Manager of FLIR’s Instruments segment. “The longwave SLS detector allows us to make a faster camera that can reach higher temperatures and yet still offer all of the cutting-edge functionality scientists and researchers have come to expect from FLIR.”

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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