Abstract

In uncooled long-wave infrared (LWIR) microbolometer imaging systems, temperature fluctuations of the focal plane array (FPA) result in thermal drift and spatial nonuniformity. In this paper, we present a novel approach based on single-image processing to simultaneously estimate temperature variances of FPAs and compensate the resulting temperature-dependent nonuniformity. Through well-controlled thermal calibrations, empirical behavioral models are derived to characterize the relationship between the responses of microbolometer and FPA temperature variations. Then, under the assumption that strong dependency exists between spatially adjacent pixels, we estimate the optimal FPA temperature so as to minimize the global intensity variance across the entire thermal infrared image. We make use of the estimated FPA temperature to infer an appropriate nonuniformity correction (NUC) profile. The performance and robustness of the proposed temperature-adaptive NUC method are evaluated on realistic IR images obtained by a 640×512 pixels uncooled LWIR microbolometer imaging system operating in a significantly changed temperature environment.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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