A New Thermal Infrared Camera Calibration Approach Using Wireless MEMS Sensors.

Peter Bajcsy and Sunayana Saha

Communication Networks And Distributed Systems Modeling And Simulation Conference (CNDS 2004), January 19-22 2004, San Diego, California 2004.

This work presents a unique thermal infrared (IR) camera calibration technique using wireless "smart" micro electro-mechanical (MEMS) sensors. The word "smart" denotes capabilities of MEMS other than sensing, such as, computing and communication.

We foresee the use of widely distributed and deeply embedded "smart" MEMS sensors as potential calibration gauges for spectral cameras, such as, thermal IR or visible spectrum cameras. Thus, the primary motivation of our presented work is to investigate the problem of spectral camera calibration in an indoor environment using the "smart" MEMS sensors. The main application of our work is in hazard-aware environments, or in any smart and intelligent spaces, where thermal cameras monitor thermal hazards with widely ranging temperatures and various temperatures require different actions to take place.

We have investigated an optimal design of a calibration system with the MICA sensor hardware manufactured by Crossbow Inc. and programmed using TinyOS, and the thermal IR camera manufactured by Indigo System Corporation. We propose a robust calibration system design by maintaining two main objectives - minimizing the wireless loss of data transmitted by the sensors and maximizing the information content of the collected data. The first objective is fulfilled by experimentally determining an optimal sensor network that gives the least data losses. Maximization of information content is achieved by synchronizing, registering and calibrating acquired 2D images with precise point measurements obtained wirelessly from the MICA sensors.

Keywords: MEMS sensors, spectral camera, calibration, ad-hoc networks.