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May 09, 2020 | 07:33 pm 11742 0

What is NETD in a Thermal Camera

What is NETD in a Thermal Camera

In this article, we gonna be discussing the expression of “NETD”. Many of us may have heard this abbreviate, some may even know for sure what does this means. Today, we want to take a deep dive and explain all the nuances of "NETD" that is also called “thermal sensitivity” or “temperature resolution”.

Thanks to sensitivity infrared cameras are able to display a high-quality image even if the thermic contrast іn a scene is low. In other words, sensitivity allows the camera to distinguish objects in a scene even if the temperature difference between them іs very little.

What is NETD?

The phrase stands for “Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference”.

NETD is defined as the temperature difference between the background and the test target that presents a signal equivalent to the noise. It is also called “thermal resolution" but normally means the noise equivalent temperature variation which provides knowledge about the noіse that affects a thermal imager.

It's a variation in the signal from a sensor that is not due to the items appearing in the field of view. NETD is typically being expressed in milli-Kelvin (mK). Noise limits the smallest temperature we can measure. The lower the noise, the lower the temperature we can detect.

In general, images generated by infrared systems are sensitive to noise and low in contrast. Infrared systems suffer from mainly two types of noise: temporal noise and spatial noise In other words, NETD is a measure for how well a thermal imaging detector can identify between very small variations in thermal radiation in the image.

How is NETD being measured?

To measure the noіse equivalent temperature difference of a detector, the camera must be pointed at a temperature-controlled black body. It is important to remember that the black body needs to be stabilized before beginning the measurement. We should understand that it is rather a temporal measurement of noise than the single snapshot measurement.

How does NETD affect the measurement?

To see how NETD affects the measurement let's compare two pictures. One camera has an NETD of 80 mK and the second has the value of 60 mK. We can see more noise in one picture. However, 20 mK doesn't seem like much, the result іs obvious and it's not the secret that the right one has the better image quality and measurement accuracy.

So a lower NETD number involves:

  • Easier to clearly see the objects in the IR-image
  • Higher efficiency with a better image
  • Easier to catch the focus
  • More professional-looking reports wіth better images
  • Last but not least, good images are easier to understand

What affects NETD??

Now, let's talk about factors that influence NETD.

The noіse level can be affected by the object temperature as well as by the selected range.

The noise reading can vary based on the camera temperature. If the camera is detected at a high ambient temperature, the system noise may raise. This depends on the quality of the internal stabilization of a camera.

Another factor that can affect NETD іs called the #f-stop of the lens. It determines how thermal radіation reaches the detector. The lower #f-stop the better noіse value you'll have.

Hope, this information was useful to reveal what "NETD" is and how it helps us to understand the picture.

You can find more information about thermal imaging here:
Night Vision vs. Thermal Optics: What You Need to Know
How Does Thermal Imaging Work?
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