Thermal Imaging Technology using a Thermoelectric Infrared Sensor 2008-01-0912
This paper describes a low-cost 48 × 48 element thermal imaging camera intended for use in measuring the temperature in a car interior for advanced air conditioning systems. The compact camera measures 46 × 46 × 60 mm. It operates under a program stored in the central processing unit and can measure the interior temperature distribution with an accuracy of ±0.7°C in range from 0 to 40°C. The camera includes a thermoelectric focal plane array (FPA) housed in a low-cost vacuum-sealed package. The FPA is fabricated with the conventional IC manufacturing process and micromachining technology. The chip is 6.5 × 6.5 mm in size and achieves high sensitivity of 4,300 V/W, which is higher than the performance reported for any other thermopile. This high performance has been achieved by optimizing the sensor's thermal isolation structure and a precisely patterned Au-black absorber that attains high infrared absorptivity of more than 90%. The package incorporates a wide-angle zinc sulfide (ZnS) lens that is fabricated using moulding technology. The field of view is 60 deg. by 60 deg. The performance of the sensor is suitable for measuring car interior temperatures.