May 8, 2017

Cooled VS Uncooled Thermal Cameras for Long-Range Surveillance

A cooled thermal camera’s imaging sensor is integrated with a cryocooler. The cryocooler lowers the sensor temperature to cryogenic temperatures. This drop in sensor temperature is necessary to lessen thermally induced noise to a level below that of the signal from the scene being imaged.


Cooled thermal cameras are more sensitive to small differences in scene temperature than are uncooled cameras, making cooled cameras more suitable for extremely long-range imaging in low-contrast scenes. The higher the thermal contrast, the easier it is to detect targets against a background that may not be much colder or hotter than the target.

Uncooled thermal cameras do not use cryogenic cooling. A common detector design is based on the microbolometer, a tiny Vanadium Oxide resistor with a large temperature coefficient on a silicon element with large surface area, low heat capacity and good thermal isolation.

cooled thermal camera


Compared to the cooled thermal camera, the uncooled thermal camera have more advantages in the service life, size, price and power consumption, and wider application area.


1.the service life

The use rate of the cooled thermal camera is closely related to its own cryocooler. The working time of the cryocooler is directly determine the service life of the thermal camera. The service life of the uncooled thermal camera is longer, but due to aging parts, measurement accuracy will be reduced.


uncooled thermal cameras do not require cryocoolers, which are very costly devices, so the uncooled thermal camera is relatively low price.


As the cooled infrared thermal camera requires the co-operation of cryocooler, so the cooling infrared camera  size is larger than the uncooled thermal camera.

4.Power consumption

Cooled  thermal camera work with cryocooler , so it will consume more energy compare to uncooled thermal camera

5.Sensitivity, accuracy

when cooled thermal camera work, the cryocooler first work to reduce its own temperature, then could detect other objects with higher sensitivity, higher accuracy,with less error, the detection temperature range is larger.


test results of cooled infrared thermal camera is more reliable because of its high precision and high sensitivity


in the military field, compared to the traditional imaging system, uncooled infrared camera structure is simple, low cost, and improve the resolution, detection sensitivity and reliability.

In the commercial and civil areas, industrial, public security, fire, or choose uncooled infrared thermal imaging camera, because the cooled thermal camera is expensive  and mainly used in military and scientific research.


CTC series Ultra long range cooled thermal camera

Ultra Long Range Cooled Thermal Camera

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