Thermopile array sensor identifies movement, direction and multiple objects

January 28, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems has introduced what it believes to be the first surface mount thermopile array sensor. Grid-EYE features 64 thermopile elements in an 8x8 grid format that detect absolute temperatures by infrared radiation.

Grid-EYE is able to measure actual temperature and temperature gradients, providing thermal images. It is possible to detect multiple persons, identify positions and direction of movement, almost independent of ambient light conditions without disturbing privacy as with conventional cameras.

Cost-effective and compact solutions for contactless temperature measurement across the entire specified area can configured with very accurate results. A built-in silicon lens provides a viewing angle of 60°. Measurement values can be read out via I²C interface in 1 or 10 frames per second. An interrupt signal output delivers a quick response to time-critical events or additional energy saving capabilities in stand-by mode, offering a high degree of flexibility.

Measuring 11.6 x 4.3 x 8.0mm, Grid-EYE arrays have an operating voltage of 3.3V or 5V and a typical current consumption of 4.5 mA (normal mode); 0.8 mA (stand-by mode); and 0.2 mA (sleep mode). Object temperature range is 0 to 80°C for the high gain amplification version and -20 to 100°C with low gain. Overall Temperature accuracy is ±2.5°C with an NETD (Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference) of ±0.5°C, depending on P/N.

Compared to single element thermopile sensors and pyro-electric detectors, Grid-EYE sensors offer extended possibilities for detecting persons and objects, enabling advanced applications that include digital signage; security; lighting control; kiosks/atms; medical imaging; automatic doors, and people counting.