Solving high-speed automotive testing challenges


FLIR Systems has published a white paper that discusses how new infrared (IR) camera technologies are providing engineers and technicians with the tools they need to address the difficulties of high-speed automotive testing.

Product research and development on internal combustion engines, brake rotors, tyres and high-speed airbags are discussed as just a few of the areas that could benefit from high-speed, high-sensitivity thermal characterisation testing. Measuring temperature on objects that are moving quickly is challenging. Traditional forms of temperature measurement, such as thermocouples, are not practical for systems in motion. Non-contact forms of temperature measurement, such as spot pyrometers, lack the fast response rates necessary to take accurate readings on fast-moving objects or to thermally characterise a high-speed target accurately. In addition, infrared cameras with uncooled detectors are also unable to accurately measure temperature at extreme high 

Without the appropriate tools for adequate thermal measurement and testing, automotive design engineers can lose time and efficiency and risk missing defects that can lead to dangerous products and expensive recalls.

The authors of the white paper discuss how, in order to visualise and take accurate temperature readings on extremely fast-moving targets, a cooled thermal camera with a short exposure time and high frame rate is needed. The white paper explores thermal and quantum detector types, a camera’s ability to synchronise and trigger to external events, the importance of high sensitivity and the advantages of long-wave infrared (LWIR) measurements.

The white paper concludes that next-generation LWIR camera technologies may offer automotive engineers a solution. These cameras incorporate 640 × 512 pixel high-resolution detectors that can capture images at a rate of 1000 frames/s. In addition, using strained layer superlattice (SLS) detectors, these cameras offer wide temperature ranges with a combination of great uniformity and quantum efficiency beyond that of traditional mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) and quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) detector materials. These new technologies, plus the ability to synchronise and trigger remotely, give engineers and technicians the tools they need to address the difficulties of high-speed automotive testing.

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