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Low voltage differential signal interface for thermal vision camera

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In this article the external digital interface specially designed for thermographic camera built in Military University Of Technology is described. The aim of article is to illustrate challenges encountered during design process of thermal vision camera. This article explains main requirements for interface to transfer Infra-Red digital data and describes the solution which we elaborated based on Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) physical layer and signaling scheme. Streszczenie. W artykule opisano zewnętrzny interfejs komunikacyjny zaprojektowany do przesyłania danych pomiarowych z kamery termowizyjnej opracowanej w Wojskowej Akademii Technicznej. Omówiono opracowaną magistralę szeregową transmitującą dane w standardzie LVDS. Opisano moduł sterujący transmisją szeregową zaimplementowany w układzie FPGA oraz specjalnie opracowany protokół komunikacyjny. (Cyfrowy interfejs LVDS do kamery termowizyjnej) Keywords: Thermo-vision, Low Voltage Differential Signaling, digital interface, FPGA. Słowa kluczowe: Termowizja, interfejs cyfrowy. Introduction Today’s military and surveillance systems have to challenge a need of operating in low visibility conditions or even in complete darkness. In such applications thermal vision seems to be an attractive solution. Rapid development of Infrared detector arrays gave an opportunity to built robust thermal vision systems, but simultaneously revealed many technical issues to challenge. Typical modern Infrared (IR) cameras are built with use of a detector matrix (also called Focal Plane Array - FPA) and a digital circuit which process the signals from all detectors in the matrix. The digital circuit is designed for numerical analysis and digital signal processing of a thermal image. Finally, it makes digital correction of nonuniformities of the detectors in array and determines a signal value for previously detected bad pixels. In order to provide proper nonuniformity correction and ba[...]

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