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Thermal Imaging Metrology with a Smartphone Sensor

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Portobello Centre, Pitt Street, Sheffield S14ET, UK
Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
INGV Sezione di Palermo, Via Ugo la Malfa, 153, 90146 Palermo PA, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2169;
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Infrared Imaging: Sensing, Exploitation and Applications)
PDF [3094 KB, uploaded 6 July 2018]


Thermal imaging cameras are expensive, particularly those designed for measuring high temperature objects with low measurement uncertainty. A wide range of research and industrial applications would benefit from lower cost temperature imaging sensors with improved metrology. To address this problem, we present the first ever quantification methodology for the temperature measurement performance of an ultra-low cost thermal imaging system based on a smartphone sensor. The camera was formed from a back illuminated silicon Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, developed for the smartphone camera market. It was packaged for use with a Raspberry Pi computer. We designed and fitted a custom-made triplet lens assembly. The system performance was characterised with a range of state-of-the-art techniques and metrics: establishing a temperature resolution of below 10 °C in the range 600–1000 °C. Furthermore, the scene dependent aspects of combined uncertainty were considered. The minimum angular subtense for which an accurate thermal measurement could be made was determined to be 1.35°, which corresponds to a 23 mm bar at a distance of 1 m, or 45:1 field-of-view in radiation thermometer nomenclature. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermography; metrology; quantitative thermography; infrared; thermometry; radiometry; thermal imaging thermography; metrology; quantitative thermography; infrared; thermometry; radiometry; thermal imaging

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Stanger, L.R.; Wilkes, T.C.; Boone, N.A.; McGonigle, A.J.S.; Willmott, J.R. Thermal Imaging Metrology with a Smartphone Sensor. Sensors 2018, 18, 2169.

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