Infrared Cameras

Selecting an Infrared Camera

An infrared camera is simply a device which creates an infrared image by using infrared radiation, much like a typical camera which forms an image with visible light. Rather than the 400.-700 nanometer range of visible light, infrared cameras are highly sensitive to visible wavelengths from about 1,100 to about 14,500 nanometers. Visible light passes through many layers of matter in the visible spectrum, while infrared rays only penetrate through one layer of matter. This thinning is what allows infrared rays to be detected from short wave infrared, which is essentially shorter wavelength radiation. Infrared machines are used in military operations as well as in law enforcement and surveillance. A laser beam profiler is another type of camera system.

Infrared Camera Options

The infrared camera uses the principle of thermography, which involves using the difference between the temperature of a hot subject and its surroundings to deduce what is hot and what is cold. This technique has long been used to detect heat sources in a variety of environments, ranging from the infrared radiation emitted by a hot stove to the temperature of water. Thermographers use this principle to measure the temperature of people, food or liquids. Infrared heat mapping is used in thermal imaging applications to create detailed pictures of objects in motion, such as a moving car, in order to better understand how they are heated or cooled.

Thermal Imaging

Infrared thermography offers a number of advantages over other types of thermal imaging, including visible light imaging, which does not utilize the infrared energy in as high a fashion. For example, thermography does not use the infrared light to directly detect heat, rather it relies on the infrared thermography detector to detect heat. In contrast, visible light can melt or distort the infrared image, which limits the data set from being usable.