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High-Performance Endoscope Developed for Monitoring Nuclear Waste Reprocessing

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CHESHAM, England, Feb. 28, 2019 — Resolve Optics has developed and supplied an infrared endoscope to enable safe monitoring of the glass vitrification process within a radioactive waste processing plant using a thermal camera.

The processing plant required a method of monitoring the temperature of its waste material to ensure there was not an excessive build-up of heat that could lead to fire. The high level of radiation around the vitrification process made it unsafe for operators and also likely to rapidly destroy the thermal camera, which prompted researchers to seek a solution to the problem.

Operating at seven to 14 microns, the prime function of the IR endoscope was to provide the desired field of view to monitor the vitrification cell and to transfer the image to the bolometer-based thermal camera. The thermal camera was mounted after a 90-degree fold to ensure it was not in the shine path of radiation.

Because of the large aperture and sensitivity of the bolometer-based camera, the endoscope required carefully positioned baffles to ensure there were no stray light reflections that could degrade the performance of the camera and lead to imprecise monitoring of the vitrification process.


Photonics.com
Feb 2019
GLOSSARY
thermal imaging
The process of producing a visible two-dimensional image of a scene that is dependent on differences in thermal or infrared radiation from the scene reaching the aperture of the imaging device.
endoscope
A medical instrument used to view inside the human body by inserting the instrument into a natural or created aperture. The endoscope may use a coherent fiber optic bundle or conventional optics to relay the image to the eye or a television camera. Illumination is provided by a concentric bundle of noncoherent fiber optics.
BusinessEuropecamerasthermal camerasthermal imagingResolve Opticsendoscopeindustrialenvironmentinfrared camerasoptics

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