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Evaluation of Image Quality of Thermal Imagers Used by the Fire Service.

pdf icon Evaluation of Image Quality of Thermal Imagers Used by the Fire Service. (2027 K)
Amon, F. K.; Lock, A.

NIST TN 1630; NIST Technical Note 1630; 32 p. February 2009.


thermal imaging; fire departments; fire fighters; evaluation; cameras; test methods; NFPA 1801; temperature; thermal sensitivity; human beings; fire hazards; specifications; equations; uncertainty; surface temperature


This document reports on the test results of an evaluation of the image quality of thermal imaging cameras used by the fire service. The test methods used were consistent with the image quality test methods included in Draft National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1801 Standard on Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service. These tests measured the nonuniformity, spatial resolution, effective temperature range, and thermal sensitivity of fire service thermal imagers. Images used for these tests were collected using a high resolution visible camera focused on the thermal imager's display while the thermal imager viewed a variety of thermal targets. The laboratory test results were evaluated in terms of a multivariate model of human perception, which was based on tests conducted on firefighters viewing thermal images of representative scenes in which a fire hazard may be present.