Airborne imaging is used to evaluate vegetation and soils in agricultural and forestry, and to monitor land use and the environment. Some land surface properties like moisture are difficult to evaluate using visible imaging, but are readily quantifiable in the infrared. We therefore worked in conjunction with ITRES Research of Calgary, Alberta, to develop an infrared camera whose images would complement the visible data already available and improve diagnostic capabilities, thereby providing a more complete and accurate snapshot of thecondition of the soil and vegetation.
Our work led us to develop with ITRES a compact and uncooled airborne infrared camera based on the INO IRM160A focal plane array. This camera is directly integrable with the ITRES Research CASI multispectral imager to provide a complete range of data for soil, surface, and vegetation analysis.
Depending on client needs and specifications, this new camera can be used alone or incorporated into the CASI multispectral imager.
An infrared eye that collects geocorrected data
By integrating the IRM160A focal plane array with custom optics and combining compact digital camera electronics and a rugged housing, ITRES has created an infrared camera that collects geocorrected data. A single IRM160A row is used to collect infrared band 8 µm to 12 µm data (LWIR). Future versions of this instrument will use a series of lines to collect multispectral infrared data.
The current camera features a spatial resolution of 3 m, a field of vision per pixel of 0.15 degrees, and a thermal resolution of 100 mK.