OPEN THERMAL CAMERA IS THERMAL IMAGING FOR THE REST OF US

One application of thermal imaging which has been experiencing a surge in recent times is the application of thermal imaging in the detection of faults in circuits. While this has proven a very interesting and reliable way for evaluating Circuit boards before committing to mass production, the cost of the standalone solutions and even the smartphone adapter based thermal cameras and accompanying app has been a challenge for most users as they are usually expensive and not open source. To solve this problem and democratize access to the thermal camera for use in Circuit evaluation,Ā TheMarpe,Ā has developed an Open-source alternative which is rightly called theĀ Open Thermal Camera.

TheĀ Open thermal CameraĀ uses theĀ SmartPhoneĀ adapter model as it comprises of a thermal camera and a mobile app. The thermal camera is designed to plug into theĀ MicroUSBĀ port on the phone, with a new release of the thermal camera coming with aĀ USB-CĀ option to support phones based on it. With the camera connected, the app is then launched and users can interact with it and evaluate their circuits.

The Open Thermal camera comes in an incredibly small form factor, with all the electronics bumped into an incredibly small 26 x 20 mm PCB. Its design is based on theĀ MLX90640Ā sensor which is a Ā far-infrared camera with an array of 768 (32Ɨ24) thermal sensors that can detect temperatures fromĀ -40 to 300Ā°CĀ with approximately 1Ā°C accuracy and up toĀ 64FPS. The camera outputs still images with a resolution of 32 x 24 pixels, and while that might sound quite small and a bit lower than the commercial smartphone adapters, it has been proven to be adequate enough tasks like detecting faults and characterizing a PCBā€™s thermal performance.

Comparing with the commercial options which fall between $200 and $300 price tags, a look at the BOM of the thermal camera reveals an estimate of only $54 as the cost of its active components with $50 of that cost being the cost of the MLX90640 itself.

Currently, only anĀ AndroidĀ application based version is available, but according to comments by TheMarpe, there may be plans to support development boards like theĀ Raspberry PiĀ and other SBCs or a move towards a standalone version.

Read more: OPEN THERMAL CAMERA IS THERMAL IMAGING FOR THE REST OF US


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Muhammad Bilal

I am highly skilled and motivated individual with a Master's degree in Computer Science. I have extensive experience in technical writing and a deep understanding of SEO practices.

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