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Development of an object-oriented infrared imaging system simulator and its application to multi-spectral infrared imaging


Springfield, Christopher D. (1998) Development of an object-oriented infrared imaging system simulator and its application to multi-spectral infrared imaging. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/jcn5-z151.


This thesis describes research efforts undertaken to investigate passive, multi-spectral infrared imaging. Although many applications of multi-spectral infrared imaging may exist, the high cost of developing viable multi-spectral technologies has limited research into, and subsequent exploitation of, these applications. Our efforts attempt to find a way to minimize the cost of this research while concurrently investigating one of the possible applications of multi-spectral infrared imaging using current infrared imaging technology. The outcome is an object-oriented, infrared imaging system simulator, called IRIMAGE, and a series of experiments and simulations that confirm the viability of gaseous pollution detection using passive, multi-spectral infrared imaging.

IRIMAGE is a flexible tool capable of applications research and basic infrared system design. This combination makes it a cost effective tool for researching the applications of multi-spectral IR imaging and the technological requirements they require. We present the physical and computational concepts that underly the simulation as well as certain computational advances made during IRIMAGE's development. A comprehensive discussion of the primary objects that make up IRIMAGE and how the simulation works is also provided. Since the reliability of a simulation depends on experimental verification of its output, we also present the results of this verification.

Besides verifying IRIMAGE, these experiments investigated detecting gaseous pollutants using passive, multi-spectral IR imaging. The thesis describes the imaging system we used and the theoretical background of these experiments. For each experiment, we describe the experimental setup and how IRIMAGE simulated the experiment. Finally, we compare the experimental and simulation results. Although these experiments verify IRIMAGE and demonstrate how gaseous pollutants can be detected using passive, multi-spectral IR imaging, further research is necessary and certain technological advances must be made before this application can be exploited. More information about IRIMAGE is available on the web at

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • McGill, Thomas C.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:11 November 1997
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01312008-150151
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:422
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:20 Feb 2008
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:36

Thesis Files

PDF (Springfield_cd_1998.pdf) - Final Version
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