LAND FORCES

Thermal Cameras Offered For Each Eye

2/1/2011
By Eric Beidel
Two eyes are better than one, and a thermal camera for each of those eyes is even more desirable.

Oregon-based FLIR Systems Inc. has developed a true thermal binocular. The company unveiled two versions of its new device at the recent Association of the United States Army convention in Washington, D.C.

Largely because of cost reasons, thermal binoculars have been passed over for less expensive bi-ocular solutions in which both eyes view the same camera.

“This has worked reasonably well, except that you can’t distinguish distance, prohibiting depth perception,” said Bill Sundermeier, government systems president for FLIR Systems Inc. Having two cameras, one for each eye, enhances the ability to judge the distances of objects in a scene, he said.

The two-camera device provides the same parallax effect achieved by the human visual system, allowing the user to experience a three-dimensional view, FLIR officials said.

The company has the capability to make 250,000 detection devices a year for thermal cameras. “With FLIR’s vast production volumes and low costs, we are able to offer a true binocular for less than the price of a typical bi-ocular system,” Sundermeier said.

Topics: Land Forces

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