When a board level seems to be the only solution to overcome space, size, and customization constraints, you have to be aware of some drawbacks. This is especially so in situations where cameras have to sustain heavy shocks and vibrations such as in defense and military applications.
Some main concerns are:
- Thermal management
There could be a thermal disadvantage as there is no possibility to use the housing as a heat sink
The responsibility is moved to the integrator to test as the camera supplier cannot provide the shield
It is much harder to make the camera resistant to environmental conditions such as shock and vibration.
Also the camera enclosure keeps dust and moisture out.
Luckily there are some methods to deal with these concerns in case limited space is an issue:
Keep mechanics around the sensor!
Perhaps a better solution is to still keep some mechanics around the sensor. With this approach, the sensor mounting is done accurately by camera experts, and the sensor area is closed to keep particles off the sensor. This likely is still only enough for initial designs and faster proof of concept systems and does not have enough structure to withstand extreme environmental conditions.
Use cameras with a compact remote sensor head!
A remote head camera, on the other hand, offers a lot of flexibility and is still fully ruggedized. This can be the ideal solution to overcome space constraints and customization requirements for rugged electro-optical systems.
Do you need more information about this, visit us during the Defense, Security, and Sensing 2012. You can find us in booth# 1829.