What Is A Thermal Imaging Camera?


December 21, 2023 By Mike
Last updated on December 21, 2023

A thermal imager, a specific device, can monitor the distribution of temperature over the surface of various objects. This device is equipped with a display to show the surfaces selected for investigation.This device shows different colored zones on the screen. A specific temperature level will have its color scheme.

Thermal Imagers: What They Are For And The Principles Of Their Work

Thermal imaging cameras that allow you to control the distribution of temperature are used:

  • In the medical field – to detect various diseases, including malignant formations
  • In the veterinary field – to control the condition of animals
  • In machine-building, in the metallurgical field, where it is necessary to control the working processes of thermal plan
  • In housing and public utilities – for controlling the condition of housing, finding damage to the water supply system, determining the degree of wear and tear of buildings
  • In construction – to find places of heat loss in buildings, to assess the operation of heating systems
  • Rescuers – for search operations
  • Firefighters – to find places of ignition, combustion
  • Military – in case of insufficient visibility to recognize the enemy, in sighting systems (advanced types of devices)

Any heated body or object emits heat. The principle of operation of thermal imaging equipment is based on the reception of heat flow of the infrared spectrum. With the help of optics, devices capture the radiated heat and direct it to the receiving signal converter. Thus, an electrical signal is derived from the visual analog signal. It usually manifests itself by a change in voltage or resistance in the receiving device. Electronics convert the signal into a picture. Such spectral pictures are seen on displays. In other words, thanks to thermal imaging cameras, a person can see infrared light emission, which is not perceived under normal conditions by the naked eye.

Images of objects in color (spectral images) allow us to assess how the temperature is distributed over their parts. Bright colors (orange, red, etc.) highlight areas of high temperature, and dark colors (blue, etc.) highlight low temperatures.

Laser Thermal Imager: Several Types

These devices, according to the fulfillment of their functionality, are:

  • Observational – displaying a picture of heat radiation, converting it into a visible spectrum of light
  • Measuring – working similarly to the previous type with the additional assignment of temperature values to signal points of light so that you can give an estimate of the temperature distribution of the place under investigation
  • Visual – devices that allow monitoring areas with temperature deviations from the norm.

Depending on the design, distinguish:

  • Portable (mobile) models of small size with a convenient holder for moving, carrying
  • Stationary models with significant overall dimensions or those installed on different equipment or act as a component of optical devices.

Depending on the purpose:

  • Construction – designed to look for heat loss in structures and buildings (up to 350 ° C)
  • Hunting – models with rangefinders in the form of handheld or helmet monoculars for observation used by employees of security agencies.
  • Industrial type – such high-precision models with sensitive infrared sensors and full-color screens of large sizes are usually used at large enterprises to monitor the temperature parameters of technological equipment. Some models can measure temperatures over 1000 °C.
  • Army – used by the military to search for and detect the dislocation of enemy forces in the dark, in conditions of poor visibility.
  • Medical – helps detect defects and tumors. Usually, these are stationary models that transmit images to a computer.
  • Household models for homes with a simple design. Representatives of this type can be considered mobile (mini) thermal imagers: they have small dimensions, and they can be connected to smartphones, phone screens, power supplies, and software used for image output.