How Thermal Imaging Is Used in Industry and Research

Thermal Imaging

Thermal Imaging uses non-contact, infrared imaging to visualize the radiant heat that an object gives off. Unlike visible light cameras, which see only the reflected light energy (light that is visible to the human eye), thermal imagers detect radiation directly from the objects surface, giving them excellent night vision capability and seeing things in complete darkness without any need for external lighting.

The radiation emitted from an object depends on its temperature, but is also influenced by its emissivity (how much the object radiates compared to a perfect blackbody radiator), atmospheric transmission and other factors. As a result, not all objects are visible to thermal imaging systems, but those that are give off a very distinctive heat signature that makes them easy to identify.

Affordable Efficiency: Exploring the Cost of Thermal Imaging Heat Loss Surveys

In the wildlife field thermal imaging is used for counting and observation of animals. It allows researchers to track and study animal behavior and locate nesting sites, and is also used in law enforcement and security to identify suspicious activity at night or in low light conditions.

Building construction and maintenance technicians use thermography to find high heat areas that could indicate deterioration of electrical components or insulation gaps and leaks. It is often useful in avoiding costly repairs or minimizing energy consumption by locating and correcting problems in buildings before they cause more serious damage or failure.

Thermography can also provide valuable information on water availability and vigor of forest canopy foliage at fine-scales not discernible using other satellite sensors or ground-based instrumentation. For example, a thermal image of tree crowns can show patterns of cooling leaves and hotter trunks that reveal how trees respond to environmental stress.


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