All About Infrared Cameras

A thermographic or ‘infrared’ camera forms an image using infrared radiation. Infrared theory states that all objects emit a certain amount of radiation based on their temperature, called black-body radiation. In most cases, the higher an object’s temperature, the more infrared radiation is emitted.

An infrared camera detects this radiation the way an ordinary camera detects and processes visible light. It works even in total darkness because the overall light level does not matter. Images from infrared cameras tend to be monochromatic because the cameras are generally designed with only a single type of sensor responding to single wavelength range of infrared radiation.

Infrared cameras can generally be divided into two types of cameras: those with cooled infrared image detectors and those with uncooled infrared image detectors.

Cooled Image Detectors are typically contained in a vacuum-sealed case and cryogenically cooled. Their sensitivity is increased because their own temperatures are much lower than the objects from which they are trying to detect radiation. Their sensors would be ‘blinded’ or flooded by their own radiation if they were not cooled.

Because of these ‘cool’ properties, they can provide superior image quality than uncooled infrared cameras. The drawbacks are that they are expensive to run and produce, using a lot of time and energy.

Do the research and figure what kind of infrared camera you really want to invest in if you’re thinking about investing in one. There are many models out there ranging from the most basic to more deluxe models, and the technology keeps getting better. Because of infrared technology, a firefighter could go into a burning building and rescue people, target hot spots, and see through the smoke. The range of uses for infrared technology keeps growing, and infrared cameras can now be used by a company or organization, and even an individual’s home.

Uncooled infrared cameras are different than their cooler cousins because their sensors operate at room temperature. The sensors detect infrared radiation via an electrical signal that is sent back to them when they detect higher temperatures. Uncooled infrared cameras are smaller and less costly than cooled infrared cameras but their resolution and image quality tend to be lower. Uncooled infrared cameras can get noisier as they get hotter, but they can also stabilize to an operating temperature that reduces image noise

A concept that revolutionized camera technology, infrared cameras opened numerous new doors for security and intelligence operations. Once existing solely in the realm of science fiction, infrared technology has now become a standard facet of our everyday lives.

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