T3S Thermal Camera from IRAY Technology: a Good Value-for-Money Product, but…


  • T3S thermal camera from IRAY – Details:

    Pixel resolution: 384×288 – Pixel pitch: 17µm – Thermal resolution: <60mK – Temperature measurement accuracy: +/-3%

    Those specifications have been tested in Piséo’s report.

  • Evaluation from Piséo:

    Good value-for-money product but it requires some improvements.

    Good image quality provided thanks to a very good bolometric sensor.

    IRAY’s optical design can be qualified as good enough and is probably optimized for cost.

    The manual focus by lens rotation is a drawback of this camera.

    The user interface Xtherm looks good and is user-friendly.

  • Thermography is benefiting from COVID-19 mitigation attempts, pushing the thermal camera industry to sales worth U$6.6 billion in 2020.

“The T3S thermal camera by IRAY Technology (IRAY), has been developed for consumer or industrial applications,” states Olivier Andrieu, PhD., Innovation Leader and System Architect at Piséo, part of Yole Group of Companies. “IRAY’s camera produces thermal images on a smartphone and provides local temperature measurements. It belongs to a portfolio of compact thermal camera plug-ins for smartphones, including the T2L and T3S PRO cameras. The T3S model integrates a Raytron microbolometer die RTD3172 at 17µm pixel pitch and offers intermediate features compared to the T2L camera, which is more compact, and the T3S PRO camera, which is more accurate. These cameras are dedicated to industrial inspection, animal observation and electronic testing applications. IRAY has developed a wide range of cameras with different resolutions and accuracies.”

During 2019, the thermal imaging market grew strongly. Chinese players, including IRAY, increased their presence with impressive innovative technologies, to reach more than 200K units. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and fever detection applications, the overall thermal camera industry, including the Chinese companies, benefitted from the situation and reached sales of US$6.6 billion, according to Yole Développement, part of Yole Group of Companies.

“Thanks to multiple drivers, though mainly due to the need for human body temperature measurements of a large number of people in the current situation, the market for infra-red thermal imaging cameras and modules is expanding at a rapid pace,” explains Joel Thomé, General Manager.“There is a need for users, integrators, and sensor manufacturers to be able to discriminate between marketed products based on accurate and independent assessment of their performance and features.”

As there is hardly any independent infra-red camera or module performance data available, purchasers of such systems are left with datasheet values that may or may not be right, or may provide only limited information.

In this dynamic ecosystem, Piséo investigates the disruptive thermal imaging technologies and evaluates the latest innovations.

As an independent Innovation Center, the company releases today a new technical report dedicated to an analysis of the performance of such a camera: IRAY T3S: IRAY T3S Thermal Camera Performance Analysis.

With this analysis, Piséo provides the first comprehensive and independent survey of the main features, performance, and imaging system architecture of the T3S camera developed by the Chinese company, IRAY.

Carried out by a team of experienced optical and system engineers, this technical report relies on robust and comprehensive test protocols and thorough analyses of the test results. The outcome of this process is a set of typical performance indicators, such as responsivity, NETD, scene dynamic range, operability… as well as an assessment of the functionalities. Together, the results deliver a relevant and detailed evaluation of the T3S camera, manufactured by IRAY.

What are the functionalities and uses of the T3S camera? What is the optical architecture and design, as defined by IRAY? What are the performance characteristics of the camera? What is the impact of scene temperature on its performance? Is the performance in line with IRAY’s announcement and datasheet?

Piséo’s analysts invite you to discover IRAY’s technical choices through an in-depth added-value analysis of its T3S camera.

For this report, Piséo performed physical measurements, calculations, simulations, and observations in its own laboratory with dedicated equipment. Throughout the process, analysts accurately compared test results with data provided in the datasheet.

As a starting point to this new IRAY T3S Thermal Camera Performance Analysis report, Piséo looked into the technical characteristics of the camera and analyzed, through extensive use testing, the functions offered.

Then, thanks to the reverse engineering analysis of the T3S camera by System Plus Consulting, member of Yole Group of Companies, Piséo has been able to accurately determine the microbolometer characteristics and camera construction. This step was essential to carry out the performance tests. Indeed, for the latter, Piséo developed its own test protocols and software interfaces which, when connected during camera use, enabled them to gather data at sensor pixel level and at various temperatures.

With the use of its own software to control the imaging functions of the camera, Piséo has independently tested the performance of the signal coming out of the bolometric sensor in combination with the existing optic, and assessed the quality of images produced from the bolometric signal. The company also tested the accuracy of the temperature measurement functions using temperature references. The quality and performance of the image processing has been also evaluated, together with a clear description of the tone-mapping steps involved until the final image is displayed.

According to Grégory Duchêne, Sr. Optical Designer, Illumination, Detection and Imaging Systems at Piséo: “By using our own stabilized HGH black body, climate chamber, and specific protocols and software, we were able to perform numerous tests at various temperatures ranging from -20°C (-4°F) to 100°C (212°F). By doing so, we have been able to compare the rated data displayed in the iRay datasheet with our own test results.”

The IRAY report, offered today by Piséo, is the 1st of an extensive collection of technical analyses that will be released during 2021. With this new program, Piséo’s experts will be able to indicate the latest thermal imaging innovations and offer valuable independent evaluation of those products. The imaging industry, from sensor manufacturers to integrators, has today many questions. In addition to the COVID-19 outbreak, this context underlines the need for reliable high-quality analyses. Piséo and its partners, System Plus Consulting and Yole Développement, will collaborate all year long to analyze in-depth thermal imaging cameras and provide key results. Stay tuned on i-Micronews.com!

All year long, Yole Group of Companies publishes numerous reports and monitors. In addition, experts realize various key presentations and organize key conferences. Do not miss the Thermal imaging: The rise of fever detection – global market applications and evolution – Webcast on December 8, 2020.

And make sure to be aware of the latest news coming from the industry and get an overview of our activities, including interviews with leading companies and more on i-Micronews. Stay tuned!

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