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Machine Design

Flexible IR cameras see around corners

High-resolution infrared cameras let users see hot components in such settings as electrical cabinets.

The FlexCam 320 from Infrared Technology sports a 320 240-pixel sensor. A pivot between screen and lens lets the camera pivot for convenient viewing. Thermal images along the left are an electrical enclosure, computer cabinet, and electric motor.

What's more, the cameras sport a 320 240-pixel sensor and a pivot between screen and lens. This lets the user hold the camera, for example, over a barrier with the lens pointing at a subject and the screen facing down for easier viewing.

The camera, from Infrared Solutions Inc., Minneapolis, senses IR in the 17 to 25-m range with an uncooled vanadium-oxide sensor and a 5-in. color display. Images are clear and objects behind the colorcoded heat signals are easily recognizable. In a demonstration, the camera showed 154°F air exiting the right half of a vent on a digital projector and near-roomtemperature air from the left half. A soon-to-be-released model mounts a visible-light camera close to the IR sensor to present both images when necessary.

The cameras come with software to analyze and manage images, and generate reports. The PRO320 model measures temperatures to 600°C with a sensitivity (noise equivalent temperature difference or NETD) of less than 70 mK, that is, less than 0.070°C between adjacent detector pixels. A programmable image capture lets users initiate scans at timed intervals or when the target temperature reaches a preset highorlow "trigger" temperature. The model also has image browsing capabilities with movable on-screen spots and boxes, an eight-color palette, and a digital zoom of 2 , 4 , and 8 . A T320 model has similar features at reduced cost and capabilities, such as 20 to 350°C range.

Infrared Solutions Inc., (763) 551-0003,

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