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What Is an Uncooled Thermal Sensor

Updated: 12/26/2023

What Is an Uncooled Thermal Sensor

An uncooled thermal sensor is a type of thermal imaging technology. Unlike cooled sensors, uncooled thermal sensors operate at ambient temperature and do not require a cooling mechanism. This makes them more cost-effective and reliable.

Uncooled thermal sensors work by detecting and measuring the thermal radiation emitted by objects. They utilize microbolometers, which are tiny vanadium oxide resistors, to convert temperature changes into electrical signals. These signals are then processed to create a thermal image that accurately represents the heat distribution in a given scene.

Advantages of Uncooled Thermal Sensors

Uncooled thermal sensors are compact in size and portable. They can be easily integrated into mobile devices and are well-suited for applications that require mobility. Additionally, uncooled sensors have a longer service life and require less maintenance compared to their cooled counterparts.

Range Considerations

Uncooled thermal imaging systems are effective for surveillance needs within a range of up to 5km. However, for longer-range requirements, cooled thermal imaging systems may be more cost-effective. The cost of a long-range uncooled system is primarily driven by the lens, which can become bulky and expensive as the effective range increases.

Low-Light and Extreme Weather Performance

Uncooled thermal sensors are particularly useful in low-light or no-light conditions, as they rely on detecting heat rather than visible light. This means they can detect and track objects or individuals even in complete darkness. Additionally, they can operate in extreme weather conditions, making them suitable for outdoor surveillance applications.

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