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Sensors 2016, 16(7), 1121; doi:10.3390/s16071121

Modeling and Compensating Temperature-Dependent Non-Uniformity Noise in IR Microbolometer Cameras

Electrical Engineering Department, Universidad de Concepción, Edmundo Larenas 219, Concepción 4030000, Chile
Center for Optics and Photonics, Universidad de Concepción, Avda. Esteban S. Iturra s/n, Concepción 4030000, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Spagnolo
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrared and THz Sensing and Imaging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3560 KB, uploaded 19 July 2016]   |  


Images rendered by uncooled microbolometer-based infrared (IR) cameras are severely degraded by the spatial non-uniformity (NU) noise. The NU noise imposes a fixed-pattern over the true images, and the intensity of the pattern changes with time due to the temperature instability of such cameras. In this paper, we present a novel model and a compensation algorithm for the spatial NU noise and its temperature-dependent variations. The model separates the NU noise into two components: a constant term, which corresponds to a set of NU parameters determining the spatial structure of the noise, and a dynamic term, which scales linearly with the fluctuations of the temperature surrounding the array of microbolometers. We use a black-body radiator and samples of the temperature surrounding the IR array to offline characterize both the constant and the temperature-dependent NU noise parameters. Next, the temperature-dependent variations are estimated online using both a spatially uniform Hammerstein-Wiener estimator and a pixelwise least mean squares (LMS) estimator. We compensate for the NU noise in IR images from two long-wave IR cameras. Results show an excellent NU correction performance and a root mean square error of less than 0.25 C, when the array’s temperature varies by approximately 15 C. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical sensors; imaging; infrared imaging; image enhancement; noise in imaging systems; image reconstruction techniques physical sensors; imaging; infrared imaging; image enhancement; noise in imaging systems; image reconstruction techniques

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.58163
    Description: The following videos are available as Supplementary Material: Video 1 is the raw output of the camera; Video 2 and Video 3 are the output produced by regular TPC at 29C and 26C, respectively; and Video 4 is the output produced by the method proposed in this article.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolf, A.; Pezoa, J.E.; Figueroa, M. Modeling and Compensating Temperature-Dependent Non-Uniformity Noise in IR Microbolometer Cameras. Sensors 2016, 16, 1121.

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