Infrared IR detectors are widely used to monitor industrial facilities for the presence of flames ensuring that the risk of an outbreak of fire is minimized. A flame will flicker randomly at a rate between 1 and 20 Hz when it is burned naturally, modulating any IR signal generated. Pyroelectric and lead sulphide detectors sense this modulated IR light and so can provide a warning of the presence of a flame. The signal-to-noise characteristic of the IR sensor determines the range and sensitivity of the flame detection instrument.
Since its founding in 1982, Laser Components has specialized in IR sensors for use in flame detection devices. The company manufactures lead sulphide detectors at their assembly plant in Arizona and pyroelectric detectors in Florida. Laser Components’ PB25 PbS detector is a cost-effective sensor for this application and generates a response to the presence of a flame in 30 ms at ranges out to 65 meters. The recent addition of a differential pyroelectric detector to Laser Components’ portfolio of sensors provides flame detection appliance manufacturers with a sensor with even higher levels of signal-to-noise and immunity to electromagnetic interference.