Seek Thermal S309SP Camera Core Performance Analysis
By Piseo —
Seek Thermal Mosaic Core S309SP: testing the actual performance of a user-friendly and easy-to-integrate device!
Piséo’s opinion of the Thermal Mosaic Core S309SP 3
Seek Thermal S309SP IR camera vs others 4
Objective of the report 5
About Piséo 5
Thermal camera market overview 8
Seek Thermal Company Profile 15
Camera presentation, functionalities and use 21
Seek Thermal SDK and SeekViewer Software 36
Image sensor characterization methodology 49
Sensor performance characterization 61
Image processing analysis 80
Conclusion and opinion 102
Piséo Corporate presentation 108
ESTABLISHING AN INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE TESTING STANDARD
In order to characterize the performance of the camera core, Piséo’s experts use their own test protocols, software, and lab equipment, which includes a calibrated HGH black body and climate chamber able to perform tests at ambient temperatures ranging from -20°C (-4°F) up to 100°C (212°F).
There is currently no international standard protocol for thermal camera performance testing available. After performing our own characterization tests on many devices, analyzing manufacturers’ datasheets and discussing the reasons for the discrepancies between our test results and their published values, it became clear to us that the performance values published were all based on different test protocols. It is, therefore, quite impossible for the purchaser to use the datasheets to select a thermal camera or core based on comparable performance values between products. Therefore, we aim to publish such data based on a fully transparent and consistent testing protocol whatever the product tested. By doing so, we provide the market with independent, unbiased test results that de facto establish an international performance testing standard for thermal cameras, cores, and sensors. This report contains for the first time a table highlighting the comparison of the main performance indicators between products. using Piséo’s own testing protocol. Manufacturers, integrators and end-users, if you also want to get your thermal camera tested, feel free to drop us a message!
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, operability…, leading to functionality assessment and image quality appreciation. Together, they make it possible for Piséo to develop its own benchmark procedure for thermal cameras, enabling them to test the various cameras independently.
The Piséo team outlines its observations on the Seek Thermal Mosaic Core S309SP: the product appears to be very easy to handle and test, thanks to its design and the available tools as provided by the manufacturer. However, the sensor does not appear as best-in-class compared to what can be currently found for such commercialized camera cores.
Added value of the Seek Thermal Camera:
- An easy-to-use SDK and user-friendly GUI.
- Infinite focus that avoids the need for focus control.
- The compactness of the module and the electronic processor.
- Easy-to-control image processing algorithm.
- Temperature measuring functions and 32-bit temperature map.
What should be improved:
- Performance below state-of-the art: NETD, optical resolution.
- Warm-up time before NETD value stabilizes.
- Presumed older generation sensor.
- No option to capture images directly from the associated software/interface (SeekViewer).
This report does not include:
- Optical detection performance, described by the Johnson criteria.
- The MRTD to assess the image quality depending on the use case.
HOW TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN PRODUCTS IN A BOOMING MARKET?
Fueled by multiple drivers, including the need to measure the temperature of a large number of people due to COVID-19 as well as general surveillance, the market for infra-red thermal imaging cameras and modules is expanding rapidly. In fact, our partner Yole Développement (Yole) expects an 8% compound annual growth rate from 2019 to 2025 (CAGR2019-2025). Many new players, especially from Asia, have already started to disrupt the market. In order to make appropriate choices, therefore, users, integrators, and sensor manufacturers need to be able to discriminate between products based on accurate and independent assessments of their performance and features (benchmarks).
Currently, no international performance testing standards have been published. This situation leaves purchasers of such systems with supplied datasheet values that may not always be right or may only provide partial information. This is where Piséo fills the gap, with its independent evaluations and testing of thermal cameras.
This Thermal Mosaic Core S309SP performance analysis is the third report we have published that shows the actual performance of commercialized products. More will come in the near future enabling fair performance comparisons.
- Piséo’s opinion of the Seek Thermal Mosaic Core S309SP
- An overview of the thermal camera market and Company Profile of Seek Thermal
- In-depth analysis of the user functions of the camera core
- Accurate characterization and analysis of the measured performance parameters of the embedded microbolometric sensor
- Thorough analysis of the measured thermometric performance and optical architecture of the camera
- Wide and deep analysis of the sensor correction functions and algorithms
- An analysis of the image process flow from sensor to image, as well as an assessment of image quality
- A performance comparison with other products.