Operational Measurements for Infrared Camera Characterization


  • Geraldo Mulato de Lima Filho ITA
  • Robert Cardoso Fernandes de Almeida ITA
  • Ruy Morgado de Castro IEAv
  • Alvaro José Damião Instituto de Estudos Avançados, São José dos Campos/SP


Infrared, Camera, Calibration, USAF 1951, Blackbody.


The detection, location, identification and recognition are very important activities for the air forces. Imaging systems are tools used for those functions, so it is mandatory to characterize those systems to really know their actual operational limits. This paper presents a set of measurements for spectral, radiometric and spatial camera characterization to be applied to imaging systems operating in the thermal infrared. A SC5600 camera manufactured by FLIR® Systems was used and assembled with lenses of 27 or 54 mm equivalent focal length. The camera spectral characterization was done by comparison to a calibrated system composed by thermal source, monochromator and a broadband reference detector. The radiometric characterization was performed using an extensive blackbody (CI Systems) for temperatures between 10 and 55 °C to evaluate the camera accuracy and obtain the calibration curves. The spatial characterization was carried out using the same extensive blackbody and 2 standard USAF 1951 machined targets, one made of steel and other of aluminum, serving as masks for the blackbody. Using recycled material, a homemade extended blackbody for outdoor use was built. The results obtained using the 2 blackbodies in laboratory were similar.