Pixelink PL-D cameras dissipate between 2 and 4 watts.  Heat affects image quality and results in visible pixel noise.  Fixed pattern noise (hot pixels) will become more visible with increasing temperature - as a general rule of thumb, the sensor's dark current doubles with every 7C to 10C increase in temperature.  For optimal image quality and performance, special attention to heat dissipation is required when mounting the camera.  Even when the ambient temperature is not excessive, proper heat sinking is required to prevent the camera from heating itself to a temperature much higher than ambient.

Temperature Monitoring


PL-D cameras have two internal temperature sensors; one on the image sensor (SEN) board and one on the main electronics (IFM) board.  The "LUT and FFC" tab of the Pixelink Capture OEM application will continuously report the camera's Sensor and Body temperature readings, in degrees celsius.  The camera Body temperature must never be allowed to exceed 70C.  The Sensor and Body temperature readings are also available from software API call(s).

Enclosed Cameras


The PL-D enclosed camera should be mounted on a metal plate or fixture using the four M2 threaded holes on the bottom surface of the camera.  The mounting must provide a conduction path to remove and dissipate heat from the camera body.  Aluminum conducts heat better than steel, and anodized metal conducts heat better than painted metal.  Passive cooling requires a solid metallic conduction path with a lot of surface area and clearance for airflow.  If there is no path to dissipate the heat then the camera will heat itself to a temperature much higher than ambient.


Board Level Cameras

The PL-D board level camera main electronics (IFM) board should be mounted on a metal plate or fixture with Imperial 0-80 screws and spacers secured to all four of the IFM board's mounting holes.  The mounting must provide a conduction path to remove and dissipate heat from the copper plating of all four mounting holes.  Shorter spacers conduct heat better than longer spacers, aluminum conducts heat better than steel, and anodized metal conducts heat better than painted metal.  Passive cooling requires a solid metallic conduction path with a lot of surface area and clearance for airflow.  If there is no path to dissipate the heat then the camera will heat itself to a temperature much higher than ambient.  When mounting the Imperial 0-80 screws and spacers to the IFM board mounting holes; do not use washers on the circuit board and do not let any mounting hardware go outside the "gold" area around the mounting hole.

If the sensor board is mounted directly onto the main electronics (IFM board), then the heat conduction paths from the image sensor are conductive through the two aluminum spacers between the SEN board and the IFM board, and dissipative from the surface area of the C-mount's aluminum surfaces.


If the sensor board is separated from the main electronics (IFM board) by a flex cable; then the IFM board should be mounted as previously described, while the C-mount should be mounted on a metal plate or fixture using Imperial 0-80 screws to all four of the C-mount's external threaded holes.  Most of the heat from the camera is generated by the main electronics (IFM board).