Home Technology What Is A Thermal Imaging Camera, And What Is It Used For?

What Is A Thermal Imaging Camera, And What Is It Used For?

by Mack G
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Technology is taking over everything surrounding to us. Every day you can see something new invented. Many of the formerly impossible-looking tasks are done in minutes now.

Although it is not a magic tool that can see through a wall or an object, but it can surely help in understanding the thermal distribution on the subject. During the pandemic in several public places, airports, cinemas, museums etc, thermal imagers were used to determine the body temperature of the people. It is a non-contact, non-invasive measurement technology which is explained in detail below.

Let’s start

What Is A Thermal Imaging Camera?

A thermal imaging camera, also known as a thermographic camera or an infrared camera, is a device that captures and creates a thermal image using infrared radiation, similar to a standard camera that forms an image using visible light. This thermal imaging instruments is a non-contact device that is able to detect infrared energy (heat) from a source and convert it into a thermal image.

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A thermal imaging camera basically detects the surface temperature of the incident object in its line of sight. For instance, if you point the device at a wall or other solid surface, it will detect, measure, and register the heat being radiated outward by that surface.

The critical component of a thermal camera is a heat sensor attached to a particular kind of lens, which is further modified to work alongside standard image-capture technologies.

This allows you to quickly identify surfaces with unrestrained temperature, unidentified sources of heat, such as overheating components, or potential thermal insulation gaps during a building inspection or a short circuit in the electrical cabinet.

As you must already know, visible light forms only a tiny part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which is why it is the only part we can actually see with our naked eye.

The remaining spectrum is invisible to the human eye. Therefore, when you point the device at any object or area, the sensor on a thermal detection camera allows you to view this otherwise invisible infrared spectrum.

What Is A Thermal Imaging Camera Used For?

Thermal cameras are used in a wide range of applications. Thermal imaging cameras are one of the best technologies to track, detect and check the healthiness of machines, systems, and components. It is sometimes helpful in a surveillance system as well.

  • Useful in building safety and thermography along with HVAC system maintenance.
  • Thermal inspection of solar PV plants for over heating of panels, hotspots, corrosion
  • Identify wear on machines, motors, bearings, shafts and other mechanical or electrical components
  • Used in remotely piloted drones (UAVs) and robot mounted applications
  • Used for medical thermography to monitor temperature of human body (fever) and other warm-blooded animals
  • Used widely in industries to detect gas leaks, water leak, moulds etc.
  • Used in the inspection of concrete bridge decks and other paved surfaces.

How Does A Thermal Imaging Camera Work? And What Is The Basic Principle It Works On?

Thermal imaging is all about converting an infrared light into electric signals and creating an image using that information. Thermal imaging cameras work on the basic therapy of thermography.

Every object with a temperature over the absolute zero point emits infrared (IR) radiation. The human eye cannot perceive this, as it is more or less blind at this wavelength. Not the thermal imager. Its central element, the detector, is sensitive to IR radiation. Based on the intensity of the IR radiation, a thermal imaging device determines the temperature of the object’s surface and makes it visible to the human eye with a thermal image. This process is referred to as thermography.

It uses the distribution of surface temperature in order to assess the structural damage or behaviour of what lies under the surface.

Since the thermal imager gives you a thermal profile of the surface, so you get a very clear and precise temperature readings in the field of view of the instrument.

Benefits Of Using A Thermal Imaging Camera

An advanced thermal imager camera delivers more efficient solutions for critical places like hospitals, auditors, servicing agencies, offices, factories, sensitive installations, equipment, and industrial applications

  • It has the ability to capture distant images depending upon the lens resolution.
  • These are incredibly maintenance-friendly tools for technicians and facility managers.
  • It is a highly cost-effective alternative in a long run
  • Ensures preventive maintenance of high voltage systems, circuit breakers or mechanical components even at in accessible locations
  • It operates with good efficiency and prevents expensive system downtimes.
  • Ability to give out distinctive images to help you differentiate between objects. 

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