Pulsar Thermal Sensors Explained

The new Pulsar Thermal Imagers are available in a huge array of models, prefixes and numerical model types featuring either an XM, XQ, XP as well as older models of and HD, XD series, this guide explains the differences and what each unit provides over its closest sibling.

Modern Pulsar units feature either an XM, XQ or XP within their model designation, this refers to the type of thermal sensor they use, and indeed what performance they deliver in terms of resolution, and pixel pitch.

XM models such as the new Pulsar Axion and Thermion XM have a 320X240 12μm sensor, XQ models such as the Helion XQ38F and XQ50F have a 384x288 17μm sensor and XP models feature a 640x480 17μm sensor such as is found in Thermion XP50 , Helion XP38 and 50 and Accolade XP50.

The new XM sensor models have a 320x240 pixel pitch which results in images having smoother edges and more detailed heat mapping, which in turn offers a greater ability to recognise and identify objects. 

The smaller pixel pitch and sensor also helps to reduce the physical overall size of the unit.

Pulsar Thermal Sensors

Sensor Resolution, Micron,  Pixel Pitch - What does it mean?

Each sensor has a resolution specification such as "320x240" which is the physical resolution of the sensor.

The larger the number...usually the better quality performance...however a lower pixel pitch of 12 micron (such as in the XM series) also has a greater effect on the image quality. Put a Helion XQ38F next to a Axion XM38 at the same distance...the XM will give a sharper cleaner image, due to the smaller pixel pitch, resulting in images having smoother edges and more detailed heat mapping which in turn offers a greater ability to recognise and identify objects compared to similar sized 12 micron sensors.

This article explains Pixel Pitch well. (external link)

Pulsar Axion Key

XM Sensor Models

  • Axion Key XM30
  • Axion XM30
  • Axion XM38
  • Thermion XM38
  • Thermion XM50

XQ Sensor Models

  • Helion XQ38F
  • Helion XQ50F
  • Accolade XQ38
  • Accolade XQ38 LRF
  • Trail XQ38 LRF
  • Trail XQ50 LRF

XP Sensor Models

  • Trail XP38
  • Trail XP50
  • Helion XP38
  • Helion XP50
  • Accolade XP50 LRF
  • Accolade XP50
  • Thermion XP38
  • Thermion XP50

Click here to find out more about the new Pulsar Thermal Imager range