New Infrared Array Sensor Detects People And Objects–Moving Or Not

August 28, 2012
By Anonymous

Passive infrared sensors (PIR) have been around for years and work well when it comes to occupancy or object detection. They can also sense people or objects in motion, which makes them useful in building automation and security systems. These simple PIR Sensors, however, have limitations that keep them out of more advanced detection applications. For example, PIR Sensors cannot sense motionless objects, cannot accurately detect direction of movement and cannot create thermal images. All three of these tasks are essential for the next generation of intelligent automation and security systems as well as people counting, medical imaging and retail tracking.

Grid-EYE Features


That’s where our new Grid-EYE sensor comes in. Instead of the single thermal sensing element employed by most PIR Sensors, Grid-EYE uses an array of thermopiles to measure actual temperature as well as temperature gradients within a 60 degree viewing area. Based on thermopile technology, Grid-EYE can simultaneously detect the direction of moving people and objects–up, down, left, right and diagonally. Its coordinated array of sensing elements can even detect multiple people or objects moving in different directions. At close proximity, Grid-EYE is capable of detecting hand movements for simple gesture control. This is a new architecture for IR sensing.

advantages of a thermopile array

At the heart of this new passive infrared array is a Thermopile IR detector chip, which consists of 64 thermopile elements arranged in an 8x8 format. A built-in thermistor and an ASIC chip rounds out the electronics. The integrated circuit performs calculations that allow mapping of temperature data as a thermal image. The device is packaged in a RF-shielded metal cover with an integrated silicon lens through which the infrared energy passes. It has an I2C digital output for direct connection to a microprocessor. Grid-EYE has been designed to offer a balance between performance, cost and size. At the same time, Grid-EYE fits within a compact surface mount (SMD) package. For a detailed look at Grid-EYE’s technical specifications, including sensing distances and response times, download the technical specifications or watch a video about how Grid-EYE works. Check out a video introduction to Panasonic's Grid-EYE Thermal Array Sensor evaluation kit

To find out more about the Grid-EYE, download our latest white paper.