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What are thermal imaging cameras used for?

Thermal imaging cameras also known as infrared cameras are devices used to capture the heat given off by an object or a person. They are similar to the conventional cameras but in this case, they only use infrared radiation to create instant images. An infrared camera also measures and displays the thermal profile of objects in relation to the temperature of surrounding objects. Anything that seems to be warmer than its surrounding air appears white whereas cooler objects and surrounding air will also appear black and in varied shades of gray.

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Thermal imaging has been known to be a military device. Recently the technology has been introduced and accepted in several thermal imaging applications. Thermal imaging systems are been used to monitor homes for heat loss to spot gaps in insulation. It has also been used in building inspections to check HVAC systems, plumbing issues, leakages, electrical faults and moisture damages. In the industrial and processing factories, there has often been the need to conduct predictive maintenance surveys using mechanical and electrical surveys. These thermal cameras have helped to discover faults that could have resulted in severe havocs. They have also saved industries, commercial building and home owners time, energy and money.

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Home inspection

Source: ohiohomepro.com

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Today, thermal imaging cameras are assisting the police in their pursuits of criminals and fugitives. They can see through the darkest nights and spot suspects hiding in bushes or in dark alleys. Thermal cameras can be used for evidence collection. It can help police officers spot objects that suspects may have discard while being pursued. The camera can also be used for tracking a vehicle. This is possible because vehicles emit of lot of heat during its use and after it has been used. The heat shows up from the engine, tires, brake sand exhaust. From the air, the police can capture a suspect’s vehicle even if the headlights are turned off. A typical example of how the police have used thermal imaging camera in the pursuit of a criminal is the Boston Marathon bombing. With the help of a thermal imager, police officers were able to capture the fugitive who was lying in a boat.

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Thermal imaging camera

Source: Dailymail

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The technology of thermal imaging cameras can also be applied in the field of research and development, laboratories as well in medicine. Thermal cameras can diagnose various skin diseases, cancer and other ailments. During the SARS pandemic, thermal imaging cameras were used to identify people with high temperatures which indicate potential victims of the disease. This helped to isolate people with the virus from non-carriers. However, the thermal imaging technology assisted in diverse ways to avoid the disease from spreading.

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Medical Thermography

Source: medicalthermalimaging.eu

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This non-contact diagnostic method involves no form of energy imparted into the body. It is being used in many health facilities and even veterinary medicine. There are many different types of thermal imaging cameras available in today’s market.

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Filed under: Articles | Posted on May 20th, 2013 by Evelyn Dzekpedzi

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