Explore the Challenges of IR-sensor-based Application Development

Infrared (IR) detection sensors play a critical role in security, safety and energy efficiency systems, which are requiring ever more sensory data as capabilities expand due to increasing connectivity. Demand is surging, but development expertise in sophisticated IR sensors is limited. Opto and sensing specialist Pacer explores the options.

A new generation of infrared (IR) detection sensors is playing an essential part in the operation of systems such as motion-detecting security cameras and safety lights, and for presence-sensing applications that can promote energy efficiency, such as smart heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

When connected by the IoT, the functionality will become even more intelligent and convenient – requiring ever more sensory data from the operating environments – including temperature, motion, human presence and human behaviours.

Different design approaches to the acquisition of this data each have their own merits. The solution may utilise a single point detection device such as the Excelitas Calipile, which offers multiple operation modes and a digital interface for easy communication with the surrounding circuitry.

Another approach is to use pyrodetectors to detect movement. By incorporating multi-element pyros or deploying multiple devices, the detection capability can be increased.

A further level of information can be captured by moving up into the different technology of low resolution imaging solutions. The 80 x 32 pixel resolution of Mitsubishi’s MelDIR electric diode infrared sensor can provide highly detailed thermal images for accurately distinguishing between humans and other heat sources. This approach enables the identification of specific human behaviour, such as walking, running or raising hands, while remaining relatively low cost for an imaging solution.

The ability to customize the sensor and its optical elements can bring significant advantages to the design. OEMs are often looking for ways to pack more technology and function into smaller devices, but there are competing drivers in the development process. Design engineers need easily integrated sensors to enable shorter product design cycles – but a customized sensor that meets the exact needs of the application will bring down the system cost and size.

Pacer can help you to narrow down and compare the options for your application. Visit our website for more details.