A Study on the quantitative measurement methods of MRTD and prediction of detection distance for Infrared surveillance equipments in military

군용 열영상장비 최소분해가능온도차의 정량적 측정 방법 및 탐지거리 예측에 관한 연구

  • Received : 2017.02.10
  • Accepted : 2017.05.12
  • Published : 2017.05.31


The purpose of the thermal imaging observation device mounted on the K's tank in the Republic of Korea military is to convert infrared rays into visual information to provide information about the environment under conditions of restricted visibility. Among the various performance indicators of thermal observation devices, such as the view, magnification, resolution, MTF, NETD, and Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference (MRTD), the MRTD is the most important, because it can indicate both the spatial frequency and temperature resolvable. However, the standard method of measuring the MRTD in NATO contains many subjective factors. As the measurement result can vary depending on subjective factors such as the human eye, metal condition and measurement conditions, the MRTD obtained is not stable. In this study, these qualitative MRTD measurement systems are converted into quantitative indicators based on a gray scale using imaging processing. By converting the average of the gray scale differences of the black and white images into the MRTD, the mean values can be used to determine whether the performance requirements required by the defense specification are met. The (mean) value can also be used to discriminate between detection, recognition and identification and the detectable distance of the thermal equipment can be analyzed under various environmental conditions, such as altostratus, heavy rain and fog.


thermal imaging observation device;infrared ray;Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference(MRTD);quantitative indicators;detectable distance;environmental conditions


  1. Seokmin Hong, "A introduction of Thermal equipment", Technical Report, Agency for Defense Development, May, 1992.
  2. Night Vision Thermal Imaging Systems Performance Model, Rev 5, U.S Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate Modeling & Simulation Division, Mar. 2001.
  3. NATO Standardization Agreement, STANAG 4347, Definition of nominal static range performance for thermal imaging systems, Edition 1, Military agency for standardization(MAS), 1995,
  4. NATO Standardization Agreement, STANAG 4349, Measurement of the minimum resolvable temperature difference(MRTD) of thermal cameras, Edition 1, Military agency for standardization(MAS), 1995.
  5. Cao Miao, Cui Wenjie, Yao qinghua, "The Study on the MRTD Measurement System of Medical Infrared Thermal Imager Based on Sub-Pixel Edge Detection Algorithm", International Journal of Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering Vol. 11, No. 7, pp. 119-126, 2016. DOI:
  6. Defence specification, Korean Commander's Thermal Panoramic Sight, KCPS, KDS 1240-****, Defense Acquisition Program Administration, June, 1999.
  7. An American National Standard, Test Method for Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference for Thermal Imaging Systems, Designation: E 1213-97, February, 1998.
  8. N. Otsu, "A threshold selection method from gray-level histogram", IEEE Trans. on System Man Cybernetic, vol. SMC-9, No. 1, 1979. DOI:
  9. Eugene Chong, ByeongHwang Park, Youngil Kang, "Atmospheric Transmittance for Korea climate in the LWIR from both Modeling and passive Type FTIR measurements", Technical Report, Agency for Defense Development, Sep. 2013.
  10. "US Standard Atmosphere 1976", US Goverment printing office, washington DC, 1976.