SOURCE: NEC

April 06, 2007 08:00 ET

NEC to Launch New Infrared Camera Module for Intruder Surveillance and Vision Enhancement

Highly Advanced Technology Enables Detection and Image Capturing of Unknown Objects Even Under Conditions of Near-Zero Visibility

TOKYO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 6, 2007 -- NEC Corporation (NASDAQ: NIPNY) announced that it will begin shipping a new uncooled infrared camera module, HX0830M1*, to manufacturers for use in a broad range of applications in various fields.

Manufactured by NEC, the module is compact, light and boasts a highly sensitive infrared detector capable of detecting far infrared energy in the 8 to 14 micron region. It is highly suited to heat surveillance and vision enhancement applications, and is also embedded with image processing circuits.

As the module can be operated through simple connection to a power supply and has a video output terminal and a simple button interface, it can be commercialized or embedded in infrared cameras without any kind of special development, making it highly suitable for use by manufacturers in a wide range of fields including infrared camera. Lead Time of the module is 3 months after receipt of order. In North America, NEC Corporation of America's Advanced Sensors Technology Department, based in Herndon, Virginia, will market the new product.

With an infrared camera, infrared wavelengths of light invisible to the naked eye that are emitted from an object are captured as degrees of luminance. These qualities make infrared camera modules ideal for a range of uses. For example, as the infrared sensor is unaffected by visible light and can detect objects as heat information even in places where there is no light, it could be used for intruder surveillance, security, disaster relief, survivor searches, and vision enhancement for aircraft, ships and vehicles.

In addition, because it is possible to visualize an object's surface temperature via two-dimensional distribution, both remotely and without making contact, it can be used for condition monitoring and maintenance of dangerous areas such as places with objects of high temperature, rotators, high voltages and in high locations that require acquisition of temperature distribution information. Because it can assess the heat conduction state, the module can be used for quality control of products and foods, for which heat processing and drying are performed, and in R&D and medical fields for such things as non-destructive inspections of products, building structures, and the like.

Furthermore, because the degree of transmission differs from visible light areas, depending on the material properties, it can penetrate through smoke to perceive an object. Leveraging this feature, the module has been used in the fire fighting field to assess fire extinguishment and rescue status to minimize risk to fire fighters at the fire scene.

In the future, more applications are expected in such fields as biometrics and intelligent traffic systems (ITS).

The new product was developed to realize wider use of far infrared cameras that meet these needs of industry and the needs of society in safety assurance aspects such as security, disaster prevention and terror strategy.

With the commercialization of this product, full-scale production for uncooled infrared detectors has been initiated at the NEC's Fuchu and Sagamihara plants, securing volume production in Japan. By so doing, along with ensuring supply of sensors in Japan, and by supporting modular product, NEC intends to expand the application of infrared and usage in a wide range of fields, and to pioneer new fields of application.

In the future, NEC is planning to commercialize an uncooled infrared camera module with 640 by 480 pixel resolution.

In addition, the standalone uncooled infrared detectors, which are used in the modules, are also available.

Please see the features of this new product in the attachment.

[*] In contrast to infrared cameras where the sensors must be cooled, the uncooled type, which operates at normal temperatures, is used.

                         New Product Information
              Uncooled infrared detector introductory site
                      http://www.nec.co.jp/geo/en/
Attachment
       Primary Features of "HX0830M1 uncooled infrared camera module"
1. Compact, lightweight "palm-size" and achieves high picture quality

Developed in Japan, the module employs an uncooled infrared detector (HX0830) with the world's smallest [1] 23.5 micron pixel pitch.

The "palm-size" module of 38 mm by 38 mm by 65 mm realizes a combination of detector and image processing circuitry.

It achieves 320 by 240 pixel image resolution, under 0.075 (K), temperature resolution and clear imaging.

2. Easy introduction via module format

As a camera module, it has an HX0830 uncooled infrared detector manufactured in-house. The aft portion of the sensor has circuitry to function as driver, read-out, image signal processing, power supply etc. With no more than the prescribed power supply, embedding in equipment is simple.

3. Equipped with multi-functionality

In addition to NTSC/PAL analog video output, digital video output is also provided. Furthermore, for the technical user, digital raw data output is possible for each pixel in real time. Module control is conducted via RS-232C, and customizations such as logo input, color pallet configuration, graphic overlay, are realized easily with the user interface tools.

[1] as of March, 2007, Internal Survey

Uses for far infrared cameras (examples)

Law enforcement and surveillance uses

--  Surveillance of vital facilities such as electrical power stations,
    plants, complexes, airports, communications relay stations, etc.
--  Surveillance of suspicious persons in coastal areas and fishing
    grounds
    
Facilities security surveillance and condition monitoring uses
--  Fire surveillance of station premises, large-scale stores and public
    cultural facilities
--  Surveillance of abnormal heat generation in plant equipment and
    electrical power equipment
--  Monitoring of equipment in oil and gas tankers, warehouses, freight,
    etc.
--  Building structural inspection
    
Industrial uses
--  Temperature control (quality control) for ovens, furnace, etc. on
    food production lines, etc.
--  Temperature control of high temperature objects on foundry lines and
    welding lines, etc.
    
Situational assessment uses
--  Assessment of traffic road flow, volcanic eruptions, pyroclastic
    flows, etc.
--  Disaster status check
    
Vision enhancement uses
--  Forward safety check for nighttime ships, vehicles, etc.
--  Field of vision check for airplanes (navigational aid, nighttime)
    
Rescue and survival uses
--  Marine and alpine survivor discovery
--  Victim discovery and firefighter visual aid at fire scene
    
Medical etc. uses
--  Airport screening of persons with abnormal temperature (contagious
    diseases, etc.)
--  Blood vessel assessment assistance in cardiac and brain surgery
--  ICU (Intensive Care Unit) body temperature observation assistance
    (brain hypothermia, etc.)
    
R&D uses
--  Heat distribution assessment of conduction state, non-destructive
    examination in trial products
--  Plant and animal observation
    

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kazuko Andersen
    NEC Corporation of America
    212-326-2502
    Email Contact