The Basics Of Thermal Imaging

It’s a complex world out there. Science is advancing rapidly and the world is progressing at an impressive rate. Amongst all this technological advancement is Thermal Imaging technology. Using high tech cameras, called Thermal Imaging Cameras, we can see in the dark, discover structural problems in construction, and much more. The process, though technologically complex, is rather basic to understand.

Objects that emit heat are emitting energy. This energy can be classified as infrared energy. With Thermal Imaging technology, cameras can be used to capture this energy. Once captured, the computer and software parts of the cameras read the infrared signals coming in and translate them into an image that we can easily see. The best part about this technology is that there is no need for sunlight or artificial light to receive a quality image. In fact, Thermal Imaging cameras work just fine in the dark. Because these cameras use the heat emitted from an object to produce images, there is no need for external light.

These cameras can be used in a variety of ways from military operations and surveillance to scientific observation and experiments. Many, if not all, can find useful ways to implement this technology in improving aspects of their lives.

FLIR H Series Compact Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR H Series FLIR’s H Series of Thermal Night Vision Cameras change the balance of power on the streets, giving you the tactical advantage you need in situations just like this. The H Series sees clearly in total darkness, giving you the information you need to make critical decisions, enhancing your mission effectiveness, maximizing your operational capabilities, and improving officer safety.

The H Series is the first hand-held thermal camera specifically designed for law enforcement. Every feature and capability was engineered with one thing in mind – to maximize its tactical utility in the missions that law enforcement professionals encounter every day. With four times the image clarity and detail of earlier systems, the H Series lets you see more of your surroundings than any other thermal night vision technology in the world for less than half the price.

Thermal imaging cameras provide tactical advantages that other night vision technologies just can’t touch. They don’t just help you to see, they let you see things invisible to the naked eye.
They make pictures from heat, not light. Day and night they let you see clearly in any conditions, including through smoke and light fog.

Everything on earth gives off thermal energy called a heat signature, and anything with a heat signature shows up clearly to a thermal camera. This helps you to see things you’d never see with your eyes or with yesterday’s night vision cameras; things like recently-parked cars, discarded weapons and evidence, but especially people. No one can hide their heat, so they can’t hide from you.

Thermal cameras help you to see people lurking in the shadows, hiding in thick foliage, and sneaking around dark parking lots. They are also effective search and rescue tools in full sunlight and in total darkness allowing officers to scan large areas quickly and find people before they can come to harm.

They let you see clearly day and night without the limitations and disadvantages inherent in other common night vision technologies. Take flashlights, for example, they are cheap and reliable, but they only illuminate a small area while letting everyone else in the area know where you’re looking. They also give away your position, making you a potential target every time you turn your light on.

Thermal imaging cameras, like H Series, let you scan wide areas quickly while remaining covert. Night goggles and scopes make images from visible light just like your eyes, so their familiar green cast images provide excellent situational awareness at night. Unfortunately, magnifying the amount of light in an image is only part of the solution to true night vision. The critical element they don’t address is visible image contrast. That’s what you really need to be able to see at night. When a target is brighter than its surroundings, it has good visual contrast and is easy to see. When the target doesn’t have good visual contrast you can’t distinguish it from its surroundings. No night vision scope can reveal contrast that’s just not there.

They see heat, not light. The more heat an object gives off, the more thermal contrast it generates and the easier it is to see. Everything on earth gives off heat, and things like people, animals, and car engines generate lots of heat, so they’re easy to see even through camouflage. Atmospheric conditions, like smoke, rain, or fog, reflect light, making night vision goggles and scopes even less effective. But thermal cameras see through these obscurants clearly.

Night vision goggles & scopes also need the right amount of light to perform really well. If light levels are too low, like in rural areas and when looking into deep shadows, they won’t be able to see much at all. If there’s too much light, like from street lights, security lights, or car headlights, they can become over-saturated. Thermal cameras have none of these limitations. That’s why airborne law enforcement units and special operations forces around the world choose FLIR when they need to see hard-to-find targets at night.

The H Series has all of the features law enforcement officers need for safe, efficient tactical nighttime operations. Its multiple lens options allow for flexible tactical mission profiles. The integral hot shoe accessory gives officers easy access to power in and video out connections, making it the perfect tool for long hours of remote surveillance. Switching from stand-by to on in less than two seconds, the H Series is always ready for action. With single-button access to all camera functions and optional on-board and video still image storage, H Series is easy to use and a convenient way to gather and store visual evidence in crime scene records.

Its optional wireless video transmission kit gives other officers access to the camera’s video output and lets it integrate easily into unmanned probes and vehicles. Integrated USB and SD card ports let operators save still images, capture live thermal video, and install downloadable camera upgrades. Rugged, shock resistant, and fully submersible, the H Series is built to stand up to the demands of day in and day out law enforcement use.

FLIR Systems is the recognized leader in law enforcement thermal imaging around the world with more cameras in the field than every other manufacturer combined. All of their cameras are built on the commercially developed, military qualified pedigree that comes from their 30 years of experience building and deploying thermal imagers in some of the most demanding environments and missions the world has to offer.

And the H Series is so affordable that every department can deploy with the same cutting edge technology as the world’s elite special operations forces. From suspect pursuit and apprehension to evidence gathering, from public safety missions to search and rescue, the H Series is the tool you need for greater mission success day and night.

Flir PathFindIR Thermal Imaging Video Camera

PathFindIR Driving at night is potentially one of the most dangerous things you can do. During the day, you can literally see for miles, while at night you may not be able to see beyond your headlights – or worse, you can be blinded by oncoming headlights. The fact is, you have less time to react to road hazards when you rely on your headlights alone, and the problem is much worse at high speeds.

Flir’s PathFindIR significantly reduces these hazards by allowing you to see more than four times farther than your headlights and to see in total darkness, through dust and smoke and oncoming headlights. It is a compact, sealed thermal imaging system that fits easily behind grills and in tight places. Video from the PathFindIR is easily displayed on most factory installed or aftermarket video monitors. In a fraction of a second you can gain valuable information, similar to checking your speedometer or glancing at your side-view mirror. This revolutionary nighttime driving aid is based on the same high-tech thermal imaging used by the military, and has already been embraced by automakers like BMW. Unlike standard video cameras that create images based on visible light, thermal imagers see subtle differences in temperature. Warm objects appear white and cooler objects appear black, and since it detects heat rather than light the PathFindIR is not affected by oncoming headlights.

Most of the common driving hazards show up clearly in thermal imagery, including animals that are naturally camouflaged, pedestrians, or stalled cars. Vehicle headlights provide between 250 and 450 feet of moderate illumination – PathFindIR provides an effective range up to four times farther. Why is this important? Because stopping distances depend on three things: First is the distance covered between the time your eyes see a hazard and your brain recognizes it, then your brain must order your foot to react, and then the brakes must stop the vehicle. Even an alert driver with good brakes on dry pavement can easily outrun his headlights at high speeds, and bad weather conditions or poorly maintained brakes can make it difficult to stop at any speed.

PathFindIR gives you extra time to react to hazards beyond your headlights illumination. While your headlights remain the primary source of illumination, this system is a supplemental driver’s enhancement for anyone who drives at night.

As the largest commercial thermal imaging company in the world, Flir has leveraged years of experience into the development of PathFindIR. The result? A revolutionary nighttime driving aid. You can take confidence in Flir’s thermal imaging systems, just like the US military and thousands of other agencies around the world.

Infrared Thermography For Beginners

thermal imaging building

Thermography is an exciting world filled with tremendous technology concerning the undetectable and the unseen. Perhaps, this world can seem confusing and the technology beyond normal intellectual abilities, but the effects and benefits of Thermography are simple and can be seen by all.

Humans have great eye sight. We can see both near and far and yet, we fail to see in the dark. Thermography solves that problem – and many more. Thermal imaging cameras can see objects in the dark, but this technology is not limited to spotting something or someone in a lightless abyss. Using thermal imaging technology, we can see through cement walls and look at structural integrity of many objects.

Through the use of such cameras, we can spot problems in walls, or roofs. We can detect gaps or holes inside a wall or discover leaks in heating and cooling systems. Problems that we cannot see with the naked eye can be solved with the use of Thermography. Energy, heat, and other types of leaks or problems can be discovered using thermal imaging cameras. This impressive technology can greatly improve the structural integrity of the homes and buildings we commonly use. And that concept is relatively simple.

Main Types Of Thermal Cameras On The Market

types-thermal-imaging-camerasA simple look into the Thermal camera field reveals a vast array of products suited to fit any individuals need. At first, choosing the right thermal camera for your individual needs can be daunting, even overwhelming at times. Not to worry. There are a few basic types of Thermal cameras, and understanding these can help you know what to purchase.

First, there are very high-tech, rather expensive cameras that can do pretty much anything. These cameras, like the IR 996, can store digital images, allow audio recordings, and measure temperature with incredible accuracy. Another camera (called the Pan/Tilt 5000M) has a mounting feature, allowing for easy placement to observe the surrounding area. There is a camera equipped for military operation. This camera has an infrared scope that can be fitted to a gun. Other cameras are small and more portable. These cameras capture thermal images with amazing quality and can read temperature – all this in a smaller and more convenient size. There are also cameras made for those looking for a more affordable option like the Thermal Engine Camera. They even have made the T-7 Binocular, a binocular shaped piece that gives the same great thermal imaging performance.

Of course, there are lots more to choose from, but knowing these basic types should help you along.

FLIR – The Leader In Thermal Cameras

flir2Are you considering purchasing your first ever thermal camera? Or, are you an expert and are looking for the latest and greatest in thermal imaging technology? Whatever the need, whatever the situation, FLIR Systems Inc has what you are looking for.

FLIR is a flourishing company that has an astounding 50 years experience in the field of Thermography and thermal imaging cameras. They have expanded to work in over 60 countries world-wide. Traded on the NASDAQ, this company supplies numerous outfits such as industry and government with needed thermal technology and equipment. Anyone can benefit from their services. Their vast experience helps them tailor to the needs of governments and large corporations as well as the thermal camera novice.

Even if you are just starting out on a thermal technology adventure, FLIR can help you get started and fit you with equipment tailored to your needs. They have one of the biggest selections of thermal camera equipment and impressive service to help anyone. Their size and experience also help those seeking greater quantities of thermal imaging goods. Their large product selection and inventory helps them serve even the biggest of clients. So next time you need thermal cameras, you might try the industry leader – FLIR.

Thermal Imaging Cameras In Law Enforcement

flir camera imageThermal imaging has helped the medical world rapidly advance in recent years. It can help detect disease and could prove vital to maintaining and safeguarding one’s health. Now, using the same technology, law enforcement can reap similar benefits. There are many instances in law enforcement in which the use of thermal imaging cameras comes in handy.

Imagine the difficulty of locating a suspect in the dark, or trying to find small evidence in a large, poorly lighted area. Previously, night vision technology needed light or the use of a beam to work. This makes it more difficult if light is not available or if one wishes to be unseen. Thermal imaging cameras need no light and can be used to track down fugitives, suspects or evidence. Working on a crash site, law enforcement can determine potential causes of collisions and even locate passengers that may have been thrown from the vehicle during a violent collision.

The same technology can also be used to locate missing persons, whether on dry land or at sea. A thermal imaging camera can locate people even in a dark abyss of water or woods. This technology, in the hands of law enforcement, can make our streets safer and save lives.

Who Regularly Uses Thermal Cameras

thermal-camerasThermography has helped us make much scientific advancement. The ability to see objects in the dark allows us to go beyond natural capabilities and explore a new and interesting world. Many, however, may wonder how such technology can actually benefit the average Joe of the world. After all, few really need to see in the dark and the invention of the flash light has already solved that problem. Few may know that thermography, specifically thermal cameras, has influenced many fields of study and can benefit us in a variety of ways.

Doctors and physicians have found a way to use thermal imaging cameras to help them practice medicine more effectively. Thermal cameras can be used in condition monitoring and medical imaging. More precise medical image leads to more specific diagnosis and more acute treatment. A  thermal imaging camera can help detect conditions such as cancer and could help save lives. In addition, veterinarians are using this technology in similar ways to help animals maintain a greater quality of life.

Thermal cameras are also used to further scientific research and can be used to study and monitor volcanoes. Police officers can also use this technology to help fight and prevent crime. It’s safe to say many, if not all can benefit from the use of thermal cameras.

Understanding Thermography

thermographyIf you’re anything like me, you first saw the word thermography and thought, “What?” Well, luck for us, understanding thermography is relatively simple. No doubt you’ve seen thermography in action, most likely on the big screen. Thermography is a science dealing with infrared imaging. Many have observed James Bond and other clever men utilize infrared technology to spot the enemy in the dark. Yes, seeing objects in the dark is one benefit, but there are many other benefits gleaned from this impressive technology. The technology utilizes radiation and infrared light given off by objects. Even in the dark, warm objects such as humans and some animals can be seen. The military has been able to utilize this technology and as well as various other disciplines. Fire fighters, construction workers, and technicians utilize this technology to see through smoke, spot heat leaks, or fix potential problems. Though thermography involves complex technology, its effects are simple. Using this technology, we can see things that give off heat in the dark. Thermography isn’t just limited to construction, even automobile manufacturers have used thermography to help drivers see better on dark roads. It’s difficult to tell what impact thermography can have in the future, but even today it is making an impact in many walks of life.