Introduction: DIY Thermal Imaging Infrared Camera
I'm always looking for new Projects for my physics lessons. Two years ago I came across a report on the thermal sensor MLX90614 from Melexis. The best one with just 5° FOV (field of view) would be suitable for a selfmade thermal camera.
To read out the temperature I use an Arduino. In the internet you can find many descriptions about reading out the datas (f.e. https://learn.adafruit.com/using-melexis-mlx90614-non-contact-sensors/wiring-and-test).
What you have to do creating a whole thermal picture is to change the alignment of the sensor like the electron beam in an old TV. Those z-tracks can be realised with a two-servo-mount.
Here you can find help, how to control servos with an arduino: http://playground.arduino.cc/ComponentLib/Servo
So you will need:
- two servo (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pan-Tilt-Wh-Best-Platform-Kit-Anti-Vibration-Camera-Mount-for-Aircraft-NO-SERVO-/321752051406?hash=item4ae9eaaece)
- voltage control for the servo (I realised it with a LM317, but maybe you can use just a normal, fixed 5V-supply)
- Arduino uno or similar
- MLX90614 with 5° FOV (the less FOV the sharper your Image, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Melexis-Mlx90614esf-dci-Ds-Digital-Non-contact-Infrared-Temperature-Sensor-/151601500838?hash=item234c2752a6)
- some resistors
- cable, Wood, screws ...
Step 1: The Structure
The thermal camera just consists of the arduino uno, which is reading the temperature and controlling the two servos. The algorithm is quite simple: Read the temperature and go one servo step further ...
To start the measurement I use a button. With the program teraterm you can read the data: x, y, temperature
Those three rows are saved as a file, which can be finally visualized with the freeware gnuplot.
Step 2: The Software
With the arduino you can control the two servos and read the temperatures from the Melexis sensor. Those values (x-position, y-position and temperature) are sent to the computer, where you can see and save them with teraterm. With gnuplot you can make a coloured picture of your temperature-array.
Step 3: The Results
Here you can see some thermal Pictures (cooktop, naked human body [me ;-)], candle)
They consist of 40x40 Pixels but it's up to you, which number of pixels you program. The more Pixels the longer the exposure takes. You can try to minimize the exposure time for on Pixel, but it will still last a certain time..
Maybe you want to take a look at my other Projects:
more physics projects: https://stoppi-homemade-physics.de/
Thank's for your time ;-)