Development of a Performance Evaluation Facility for Fire Fighting Thermal Imagers
Francine K. Amon, Anthony P. Hamins, Jungho Kim, Vytenis Benetis
The Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a new bench-scale testing facility and methods to evaluate the performance of thermal imagers used by fire fighters to search for victims and hot spots in burning structures. A larger-scale laboratory testing facility was constructed in 2002. This facility was used to determine the effects of water sprays on the imaging performance of a selection of thermal imagers. A new, smaller-scale laboratory facility, currently under construction, will provide a carefully controlled laboratory setting in which aspects of the environment inside a burning structure are simulated as closely as possible. It will also serve as a test bed for new technology. An evaluation of the performance of different thermal imaging detector technologies under field conditions is also underway. Results of this project will provide a quantifiable physical and scientific basis upon which industry standards for imaging performance, testing protocols and reporting practices related to the performance of thermal imaging cameras can be developed. In this paper a description of the testing facilities, including both generations of laboratory apparatus is presented.
April 14-15, 2004
Proceedings of SPIE
evaluation, fire fighting, infrared camera, performance, thermal imager