June 11, 2013

              Near-Infrared Cameras – High Sensitivity in Low Light

              ace Area Scan Camera
              The use of NIR-optimized cameras is common, especially for applications in the solar field or traffic monitoring, and was until recently only possible with rather expensive CCD sensors.
              New CMOS technology provides the sensors with increased sensitivity in the near-infrared range. It achieves this through the application of a thicker substrate layer that is significantly simpler and more cost effective than previous CCD technology. It opens up an entirely new world of applications for a target audience that desires good sensitivity in the near-infrared range, with wavelengths that must measure over 850 nm. The new technology has allowed for attractive pricing on a corresponding line of industrial cameras with very good sensitivity, which in turn has boosted their share on the machine vision market.

              The NIR-optimized cameras, such as the Basler ace models with NIR-optimized 2 MP (CMV2000) and 4 MP (CMV4000) sensors from CMOSIS, still manage quantum efficiency of around 40% in the 850nm range. Compared to non-NIR-optimized cameras, this represents a doubling of the sensitivity value at this wavelength. You can visit the website for our ace series to view the individual NIR models with Gigabit Ethernet or Camera Link interfaces. Simply click on the models to see the detailed specifications.

              One question we're hearing more and more: When does it make sense to use an NIR-camera and do I need this kind of camera for my application?

              Some application fields and inspection solutions require it for high wavelengths as well as for normal lighting to record high-contrast images. Standard industrial cameras quickly reach their limits in that particular scenario. They also require very good lighting conditions to capture images that are useful in any way. These light solutions bring a tremendous amount of cost and complexity with them, which in turn leads to quickly rising system costs and deterioration of the price/performance ratio.  Industrial cameras with NIR-optimized sensors greatly simplify life for manufacturers facing inspection tasks of this type. The ace models with NIR-optimized sensors from CMOSIS are the perfect fit for applications such as (traffic monitoring) installations that need to work in poor lighting conditions and at night, fruit and vegetable inspections to detect damaged spots using location-sensing spectroscopy as well as the inspection of solar wafers through electro-luminescence.

              Interested in learning more about the Basler ace with NIR-optimized sensors? Our sales team is glad to provide further assistance.

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