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Thermal Imagers

Building and Industrial Thermal Imagers

Building and Industrial (Commercial) Thermal Imagers save time, energy, reduce downtime and find problems that exist before failures or disasters occur

Driver Vision Vehicle Thermal Imagers

Driver Vision Thermal Imagers, or Vehicle Thermal Imagers are dashboard mount thermal imagers for locating road hazards and suspects

Fire First Responder Thermal Imagers

Thermal Imagers for First Responders and Fire Fighters are used to locate casualties and hazards in total darkness, smoke, fog and fire

Fixed Mount Thermal Imagers

Fixed Mount Thermal Imagers are multi-sensor cameras primarily intended for indoor and outdoor security applications

Hunting and Outdoor Thermal Imagers

Specialized Thermal Imagers for Hunting and Outdoor uses

Law Enforcement Thermal Imagers

Law Enforcement Thermal Imagers Thermal Imagers for Law Enforcement are used to locate criminals, casualties and hazards in total darkness, smoke, fog and fire

Marine Thermal Imagers

Specialized Thermal Imagers for Marine and Boating applications

Thermal Imager IR Windows

Infrared Windows for Thermal Imagers make electrical inspections safer by reducing exposure to electrical hazards in panels

Scientific Thermal Imagers

Scientific and Benchtop Thermal Imaging Camera Systems can help you determine and document thermal activity useful for PCB design, research and development and other close-up work.
 
Thermal Imagers Description
Thermal Imagers are used to measure surface temperature and temperature differential for Commercial, Industrial, General, and First Responder Use. Understand the differences between thermal imagers in this comprehensive buyer's guide.

Thermal Imagers for Law Enforcement, First Responders, Marine Safety, and Home Land Security are used to locate criminals, casualties and hazards in total darkness, smoke, fog, and fire. They are now considered to be an essential tool and accepted worldwide for Safety and Enforcement Searches. The use of thermal cameras offers officers a tactical and search advantage.

A vehicle mounted thermal imager allows the observation and location of suspects, without revealing the officers’ location in total darkness or through smoke, moderate fog, and behind foliage. Thermal Imagers also increases the likelihood of identification and capture of a suspect, improving ability to track and collect important evidence, increasing the probability of locating injured or hidden casualties in a fire as well as locating the source of high temperature and possible danger. First Responders and Law Enforcement Personnel depend on having the shortest reaction time in order to gain information and to be able to assist, save or apprehend. Utilizing a vehicle mounted Imager offers the officer of responder a better chance of noticing suspects, criminals, animals, pedestrians, fire, and obstacles along the roadside well in advance of being in close proximity. Utilizing a Fixed Mounted Imager, for example on a building, offers much greater security and possible identification of intruders or criminals.

TEquipment.NET has solutions for all these applications and carries the leading brands. This buyer's guide covers them in these sequential sections.
  • Building and Industrial Thermal Imagers
  • IR Windows for Building and Industrial Applications
  • Driver Vision Thermal Imagers
  • Fire and First Responder Thermal Imagers
  • Fixed Mount Thermal Imagers
  • Hunting and Outdoor Thermal Imagers
  • Law Enforcement Thermal Imagers
  • Marine Thermal Imagers
NOTE: The FOV (Field of View) discussion and images in the Building and Industrial section have application in all camera types and is worth reviewing.

 

BUILDING AND INDUSTRIAL THERMAL IMAGERS

There are many applications for Thermal Imagers. They are now considered to be an essential tool utilized in many industries for evaluating operating conditions, machinery safety, and personal safety. Their uses include, but are not limited to, Process Control, Predictive Maintenance, and Building Diagnostics as well as Personal Safety. They are used by consultants, electrical contractors, mechanical contractors and personal safety professionals (and first responders) in wide and varied applications around the world.
 
The following images are representative of observations using a Thermal Camera.
 
thermal_liquid_level   thermal_fuses
Figure A: Liquid Level                       Figure B: Fuses in a Circuit

Thermal Imagers do not use visible light that the human eye might see, but measure the infrared energy, or thermal energy, radiated from their surface. Since surfaces do not behave in a standard manner by which energy is radiated, we use emissivity to adjust for surface and radiated energy. The result image that you see is a combination of many variables, but always includes the lens you choose, the pixel matrix and the sensitivity of the detector. Many cameras have built in unique and important characteristics.

Thermal Imaging provides information on your system and application that otherwise would not be known until a problem becomes evident. It is an important tool to use in evaluating conditions that are important in day to day operation. For complete product information and details on what product may provide the very best results based on your needs and application, please call and speak to our Certified Level I Thermographer and other Experts.
 
Typical Professions using Thermal Imagers
  • Building Inspectors: Industrial, Commercial, and Residential
  • Electricians and Electrical Contractors
  • General Contractors
  • Industrial and Residential Building Diagnostic Consultants
  • Plant and Building Maintenance Professionals and Managers
  • HVAC Electrical and Mechanical Contractors
  • Mold Remediation Professionals
  • Roofing Specialists
Typical Applications for Thermal Imagers
  • Utility. Transformers, Insulators, Hipots, Transmission Towers
  • Electrical. Unbalanced Loads, Overloads, Wiring, Circuit Breakers, Motor Windings, Rotating Belts, Couplings, Control Panels, Component Failure, Fuses, Switches, Circuit Boards
  • Mechanical. Steam Traps, Couplings, Bearings, Valves, Lubrication, Gearboxes
  • HVAC. Ducts, Furnaces, Gaskets, Seals, Roofing
  • Building Envelope Confirmations
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Building Energy Audits
  • Process Maintenance
  • Moisture & Water Damage Recognition and Restoration
  • Refractory Insulation
  • Tank and Vessel Levels
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Energy Loss – Heating / Cooling, Power, Power Consumption and Flow
  • Transportation
Features to consider for Thermal Imagers
  • IR Resolution or Pixel Size
  • Thermal Sensitivity NETD
  • Temperature Range
  • Temperature Accuracy
  • FOV - Field Of View
  • Refresh Rate (Hz)
  • Focus Capability - Manual / Automatic
  • Digital Display – Standard or Augmented Visual Display Systems
  • Memory and Data Logging Capability
  • Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Capability
  • Lens Capability and Interchangeability
  • Software Display Capability
  • Alarm Capability
  • Standard or Additional Color Palettes
  • Adjustable Emissivity Capability
  • Voice Annotation
  • Output Capability
  • Flashlight or Laser Capability
  • Battery Life and Replacement
  • Enclosure IP and CAT Location Ratings
  • Drop Test Capability

Focus

Focus mattters. Infrared cameras can help you identify potential problems before they become costly failures. Heat irregularities can be an early indicator of issues. Getting an in-focus image is critical in all scanning situations; poor focus makes seeing small details impossible and also impacts temperature measurement accuracy, making it much easier to miss a potential problem. Superior focus capabilities are even more valuable when capturing an image with targets at different focal points, or when working in a dusty, crowded or otherwise challenging environment. With the latest advances in Fluke cameras, worrying about focus is now obsolete with MultiSharp™ Focus and LaserSharp® Auto Focus.

IR Resolution (Pixel Array)

Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, 640X480, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected and any special electronics being added to the optical circuit), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. All cameras display temperature gradient. As the pixel array increase in size, the average temperature spot measured becomes smaller. This will increase the information gathered by the camera.

When discussing pixel size, the specific application must be taken into consideration. Please be aware that the detector resolution is different than the display resolution. It is the detector resolution that matters the most. Higher resolution thermal imaging not only provides more accurate quantitative results, but it is also very important when presenting those results to customers. Please see FOV, “Field of View” paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed.
 
thermal_60x60       thermal_640x680
Compare two resolutions of the same image
Figure 1: 60×60 pixel array, 3600 pixels     Figure 2: 640×480 pixel array, 307,200 pixels


thermal_640x480_elec  thermal_640x480_bldg
Compare two images at the same resolution, 640x480 pixel array, 307,200 pixels
Figure 1: Electrical Panel                                   Figure 2: Building
 

Thermal Sensitivity

The standard measurement used in Thermal Imaging for sensitivity is called “Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference” or NETD. NETD is accepted as a standard industry acronym. This measurement is basically the measure of the least temperature differential range (smallest temperature range) that the camera can detect and display. When considering Cameras to use, a lower NETD may offer increased visibility of temperature differentials, which in turn details smaller temperature changes in viewed objects and under test.
 
Sensitivity is commonly shown as deg C and mK (millikelvins) and when shown in the product specifications, usually indicates the camera sensitivity at a calibrated temperature, i.e. the sensitivity may read: 0.10deg C at 30°C target temperature (or ambient temperature). It should be noted that with lower sensitivity, there usually is an increase in accuracy of readings as well as increases in the details on captured images. Whether there are increases in detail, product color variations, minor modifications on wall intersections or product detail specifics, a lower sensitivity is certainly an important factor you may want to consider. Below are two panel board-circuit breaker images. These are not the identical images, but they are used to demonstrate the variety of results when using two different sensitivities.
 
Figure 1- is an image from a camera with 4800 pixels and a sensitivity of 0.15°C (150 mK). The general temperature differential is shown, but the detail is not as complete.
 
thermal_sensitivity1  thermal_sensitivity2
Compare sensitivities of two different images of electrical panels
Figure 1: 4800 pixels, 0.15 deg C (150 mK)  Figure 2: 307, 200 pixels, 0.04 (40 mK)

In Figure 1, the general temperature differential is shown, but the detail is not as complete. Please note that although the pixel difference details an increase in the sharpness and clarity, the sensitivity allows us to see all the specific temperature details including wiring. The choice of cameras and sensitivity is also only one of other specifications to consider. Temperature range, pixel capability, application, pricing and many others may also be appropriate.
 

Temperature Range

The Temperature Range required is application specific and applies to where the Thermal Image Camera will be used. The primary temperature range may vary since cameras can be used for a variety of applications. Industrial facilities may require a higher temperature span for the equipment and operations that will be inspected and evaluated more so than that of Building Diagnostics. The primary troubled area of concern usually dictates temperature, but future testing, evaluations, and optional site use may also offer other temperature ranges. If using one Imager for all applications, consider the minimum and maximum temperature ranges required. As a user for present and future applications, you will dictate the preferred temperature range of the camera.
 

FOV - Field Of View

The FOV or “Field of View” is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. Compare the following illustrations.
 
 
thermal_FOV1
 
 
thermal_FOV2
 
thermal_FOV3
 

Refresh (Frame) Rate

In traditional Industrial, Commercial, and Building Diagnostics applications, refresh rate or frame rate is the accepted frames per second update for the image being transmitted to the display. Rates are commonly listed as 9Hz, 30Hz, or 60Hz. Higher frame rates are usually found on cameras with better resolution as well as cameras used for First Responder applications involving motion. If the application anticipates using video output, a higher refresh rate is preferred. The choice is based on application and camera specifications.
 

Display Capability – Standard or Augmented Visual Display Systems

There are a variety of systems that are inherent in many cameras available that have the ability to augment a captured Thermal Display and present that display in greater and finer detail. Each manufacturer offers a specialized technology that enhances picture quality. FLIR offers MSX technology, which automatically extracts the critical details from the visible image and embosses them on to the thermal image. Below is an image representative of MSX display capability. The upper portion displays the enhanced display. Note the detail in the upper portion.

thermal_msx

Fluke offers their IR-OptiFlex focus system which assists the inspection process significantly faster using this revolutionary, ultra-rugged focus system. IR-OptiFlex offers optimum focus by combining focus-free ease-of-use from four feet (1.2 M) and beyond with the flexibility of manual focus for distances of less than four feet. The following link describes the Industrial and Building Diagnostics capability of the Fluke system.

Digital Display with Thermal Display  

Many cameras contain a digital display (much like a digital camera) as well as a thermal display. This allows increased information on site and problem areas. These cameras usually allow the operator to snap a digital picture as well as a thermal one. Overlaying the images is useful in identifying the location of problems. Below are “Picture in Picture” and “Auto Blend” examples of capturing both Digital and Thermal Images at the same time. Usually these features are used for visual identification of the site being evaluated as well as a Thermal Footprint.
 
thermal_outlet_prob       thermal_breaker
 
    Possible problem with a plug                             Heat distribution in a breaker panel

Fluke-Autoblend

Autoblend example


 

Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Capability

Some Thermal Cameras have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capability to disseminate the collected Thermal Footprint information to other instruments, such as a PC, a smart phone or to a tablet device. These features save time compared to saving, recording, and downloading information using memory cards and digital connection cables. This feature also allows the user to instantly share images and information with co-workers and management.

Emissivity

Emissivity is the ratio of energy radiated (invisible heat) by a material to the energy radiated by a black body at the same temperature. Emissivity numbers range from 0.0 to 1.0. A surface with a value of 0.10, (typical for shiny copper), radiates a much smaller amount of energy than that of the human skin, which has an emissivity of 0.98. A “Black Body” would have an emissivity of 1.0.

If precise temperature values are desired, choose a camera with an adjustable emissivity. Adjustable emissivity will offer the user an opportunity for accurate results. There are many tables available that define the emissivity for most materials that can be measured. Many products have internal emissivity tables, and many camera images contain a variety of materials with different emissivity.

If differential temperatures are desired (i.e. relative differences between regions being examined), emissivity, although always important, is not as critical. The camera image below shows a photo of wiring connections with the relative temperature differentials. This allows the inspector or professional to understand the heat produced in various locations of the panel.
 
thermal_emissivity-slide
 
 


IR WINDOWS FOR BUILDING & INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS

Infrared Windows or IR Windows allow Thermal Imagers to be used for safer electrical inspections by reducing exposure to Electrical Hazards. As stated in NFPA 70E, the Electrical Safety Standard in the Workplace, all electrical locations are categorized into CAT I, II, III, and IV. These CAT ratings classify the risk and hazard possibility for danger in all electrical locations. In order to be in Compliance with this standard, appropriate clothing and equipment (PPE-Personal Protection Equipment) is required in order to enter the selected area and proceed with any testing or evaluations. With the use of installed Thermal IR Windows, you will be able to perform safer and more efficient Low and High Voltage Electrical Inspections without exposing personnel to any increased risk.

Opening electrical cabinets to perform IR and visual inspections of live components is dangerous work, which exposes the operator to the risk of a hazardous arc flash. Installing an IR Window on an entry door allows Thermal Imagers to be used to gather important temperature measurements without exposing your personnel to any increased risk. These Arc-Resistant, indoor/outdoor certified, infrared windows allow thermal, ultraviolet, visual, and fusion technologies to be used without exposing personnel to live equipment and possible serious and dangerous conditions.

Features of Windows

  • Minimizes time and cost of complying with NFPA 70E requirements for electrical inspections
  • Decreases risk of injury due to arc flash incidents
  • Perform Visual Inspections
  • Perform Thermal Inspections
  • Integrity and environmental ratings of cabinets and doors are intact following window installation
  • Variety of Sizes to match Thermal Imagers
  • Easy to install

Applications

  • Arc Resistant
  • For Indoor/Outdoor use
  • Waterproof meets IP65
  • Available in different diameters

Why is available area important?

Understanding the difference between “Optic Diameter” and “Available Area” gives the thermographer a measure of how much infrared energy is passing through the window. The more energy, the better the reading. Using a crystal IR Window means that the entire area is available for infrared transmission for optimum repeatability and results. While a mesh grid may have a larger “Optic Diameter” the grid itself blocks the IR signal, meaning that the amount of radiation available to the camera is significantly reduced and the signal may be irregular.

Purpose for Electrical Thermal Imager Inspections

As described above, NFPA 70E details information as required to efficiently and safely perform Electrical Inspections. These inspections must be made on a regular basis since electrical connections and conductors may be loose, corroded, overheated, under rated, carry increased load, or just in a critical condition where excessive heat becomes a dangerous problem. The temperature rise or differential may be extremely important in maintaining an efficient system and its components. By utilizing a Thermal Imaging Camera, many possible problems may be observed and corrected before any dangerous situation exists. If the location of these Electrical components, transformers, switchgear, circuit breakers, relays, timers and all components is in an area that requires PPE that is not readily or quickly available, an IR Window allows the technician to perform the inspection and provide the results.

Learn More About CAT Ratings

CATratingdiagram
Click the image or the link below to learn more about CAT Ratings.

Also, please see NFPA 70E  for complete details regarding equipment and PPE protective clothing.

 
 

 

DRIVER VISION THERMAL IMAGERS

Driver Vision Thermal Imagers are vehicle and dashboard mounted Imagers that assist First Responders and Law Enforcement Personnel in locating road hazards and suspects in total darkness. These Imagers provide images that would not ordinarily be seen in the dark and allows for quicker reaction time and greater opportunity to apprehend an otherwise “hidden in the dark” suspect. This technology is identical to the technology used by Military to view heated objects at night.

Below are two examples of vision using the headlights of a vehicle and the vision as seen using a mounted Thermal Imager.
 

DriverVision2
View with Headlights only
DriverVision1
View with Thermal Imaging
The advantage is obvious


The following photos demonstrate the capability of Thermal Imager night time vision and the advantage that exists when using a vehicle with a mounted Imager.
 
DriverVision3 DriverVision4
 

Features of Mounted Thermal Imagers

  • See objects, suspects, obstacles, animals, and any heat source in total darkness
  • Enhances Drivers Vision in darkness 
  • Can be utilized as Surveillance without moving
  • See through smoke 
  • Enables vision at night during Pursuit
  • Supplied with Wide Angle Lens
  • Standard High Pixel Count Array

Benefits of Mounted Thermal Imagers

  • Temperature can be seen in the dark, so can suspects or hazards can be seen in dark.
  • See four times beyond the range of headlights; get more time to react to road hazards.
  • Monitor the activity of suspects without their knowledge, in total darkness, from a distance.
  • These Thermal imagers see through smoke, allowing officers to respond safely in brush fire or tunnel fire situations.
  • See hazards from a longer distance enabling lives to be saved and property to be protected.

Refresh (Frame) Rate

Refresh rate or frame rate is the accepted frames per second update for the image being transmitted to the display. Rates used in Law Enforcement and Vehicle Mounted Imagers are commonly listed as 7.5Hz, 8Hz, 25Hz, or 30Hz. Higher frame rates are usually found on cameras with better resolution as well as cameras used for "First Responder” applications involving motion. If the application anticipates using video output, a higher refresh rate is preferred. The choice is based on application and camera specifications. Refresh rates above 9 Hz are export restricted.

IR Resolution (Pixel Array) / Detector Size

Although for Driver Vision Thermal Imaging Cameras the Detector Resolution selection is limited to one choice, it is important to understand more about Detector Resolution. Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected and any special electronics being added to the optical circuit), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. All cameras display temperature gradient. As the pixel array increase in size, the average temperature spot measured becomes smaller. This will increase the information gathered by the camera.

When discussing pixel size, the specific application must be taken into consideration. Please be aware that the detector resolution is different than the display resolution. It is the detector resolution that matters the most. Higher resolution thermal imaging not only provides more accurate quantitative results, but it is also very important when presenting those results to customers. Please see FOV, “Field of View” paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed.

FOV - Field of View

Like the Detector Size above, the FOV or "Field of View" selection is limited to one choice. But it was optimally chosen for viewing road hazards at a distance. The FOV is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. Compare the illustrations from the Building and Industrial Thermal Imager FOV section above.

 

FIRE AND FIRST RESPONDER THERMAL IMAGERS

Thermal Imagers for First Responders and Fire Fighters are used to locate casualties and hazards in total darkness, smoke, fog and fire. Thermal Imagers are used to measure surface temperature and temperature differential of surrounding areas for Commercial, Industrial, General and First Responder Use. They are now considered to be an essential tool utilized in many first responder applications including, but not limited to, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting, Marine Safety and Home Land Security. They are now used and accepted world wide for Safety and Enforcement Searches. They are considered to be extremely powerful weapons that can be used by firefighters and emergency personnel in the fight against increased property damage as well as rescue of human life. The use of thermal cameras offers fire fighters a tactical, search and positioning advantage. A handheld thermal imager allows the observation and location of impending fire damage as well as locating and saving human life. This increases the probability of locating injured or hidden casualties in a fire as well as locating the source of high temperature and possible danger to structure and property.

The two figures below are representative of what is seen with night vision (left) and what is captured with a thermal imager (right). Left image represents a typical night vision view of a park surrounded by trees and foliage. It is not apparent that there is any human life in the general surroundings. Using a Thermal Imager designed for first responders in the right image demonstrates that someone is behind the foliage. If the park vegetation was beginning to ignite, the location of the person in the woods offers an undeniable advantage to the rescue responder team.
 
thermal-vs-nightvision1   thermal-vs-nightvision2
Compare the same view
Night Vision Camera                                    Thermal Image


Primary Applications for First Responder and Fire Thermal Imaging Cameras
  • See through smoke, dust, and light fog
  • See through camouflage and foliage in any lighting conditions
  • See farther in zero visibility
  • Significantly improve safety and mobility
  • Find hidden or injured in fires
  • Monitor temperatures for preventative maintenance and condition monitoring of equipment
  • Fire Prevention surveys
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of cooling
  • Searching for a person in deep water
  • Examining containers storing hazardous or flammable materials
  • Road Traffic accidents
  • Predict potential of Hidden Fire Flashover
  • Locating the seat and spread of a fire
  • Searching for casualties
  • Overhaul Systems
  • Pre Qualification of Residential or Industrial hazards
  • See through dense smoke and in darkness
  • Detect and display the relevant temperatures of objects and walls
  • Moving swiftly in “Search and Rescue” of casualties
  • Enhance Mission Effectiveness
  • Maximize Operational Capability
  • Improve Officer and Firefighter Safety
The human eye uses reflected light to visualize and produce an image. Daylight cameras, night-vision devices, and the human eye all work on the same basic principle. When light energy reflects off of an object, our eyes receive that signal and produce the appropriate image. In darkness, or in fog, or in smoke, we are limited to the external light provided. If there isn’t enough light or the artificial light is not sufficient, we no longer see clearly or see at all. When using night vision devices, the available light is magnified to produce an image. These devices have range limitations especially in extremely low-light conditions. It becomes difficult to view or recognize an object or produce any contrast for the image we would like to find. The thermal contrast between an object and its surroundings is what safety first responders are seeking.

Thermal imaging cameras measure the reflected thermal energy and are not susceptible or responsive to daylight or artificial light. First Responder Cameras indicate temperature variations usually by a display of sharp black and white contrast screen. By sensing this thermal energy and displaying it as black and white video, thermal imagers allow you to see things from farther away and with greater contrast than conventional visible-light cameras and night-vision technologies. As long as there is a temperature variation, within the resolution and sensitivity of the camera, the image will be displayed. The use of flashlights and high beam spotlights never finds a hidden human in the midst of smoke. The photo below, figure 3 is indicative of locating someone who is in trouble at the scene of a fire where the area is smoke filled. In this case, the rescue team finds the Thermal Imager to, literally, be a life saver.

 
 thermal_fire1  thermal_fire2
Victims found thru smoke by Thermal Imagers

Features to Consider when choosing a thermal imaging camera for fire and first responder use
  • IR Resolution or Detector Pixel Size
  • Ambient Operating Temperature
  • Direct Temperature Measurement
  • FOV - Field Of View
  • Start Up Time
  • Display Size & Replaceable Lens
  • Single Hand Operation
  • Ease of Use
  • Refresh (Frame) Rate (Hz)
  • Memory Recording Capability
  • Standard Black / White Display or Special Color Alarm
  • BatteryLife and Replacement
  • Enclosure Ratings / Capability
  • Drop Test Capability
  • Connection and Output Capability
IR Resolution (Pixel Array)

Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, 640X480, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected and any special electronics being added to the optical circuit), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. As the pixel array increase in size and the focal length is increased, changes in thermal visibility will be extended over a longer distance. Please see FOV, “Field of View” paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed.
 
FOV - Field Of View

The FOV or “Field of View” is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. By choosing the appropriate lens with a specific pixel array, you are also determining the length of visual capability for the Imager. Compare the illustrations from the Building and Industrial Thermal Imager FOV section above.

Using the appropriate Thermal Imager designed to be used in the high temperature environment of firefighting allows for viewing of extremely high and low temperatures in one screen with clear definition. The units can also find casualties in the midst of high temperature conditions. Note the capture of temperature information in the two photos below and right victim photo above.
 
thermal_fire3  thermal_fire4
First Responder Thermal Images with Temperature Information

There is no doubt that using Thermal Imaging for Rescue and Firefighting provides an increased opportunity for safety and success for all first responders. This tool allows any operator to have the ability to increase life and death circumstance to their benefit as well as added protection at their fingertips. Thermal Imaging cameras will assist in approaching fires more strategically, able to detect additional combustibles and find hotspots quicker. Using a Thermal Imager will absolutely allow responders to rescue victims sooner. 
 

FIXED MOUNT THERMAL IMAGERS

Fixed Mount Thermal Imagers are multi-sensor Thermal Imaging Cameras primarily intended for indoor and outdoor security applications. They are used to detect intruders and other threats to a facility's security. Imagers can detect the existence of heat in a totally dark environment and inclement weather. The cameras provide both simultaneous visible-light and thermal video outputs to insure constant security and surveillance in your facility or on your property.
  
Some of the unique features include lens selection to obtain a selection of “field of view” distances, as well a choice of IR Resolution (pixel array) and mounting choice. A dome-up camera model can be mounted on top of the mounting surface. A dome-down camera model can be mounted under an overhanging mounting arm, or underneath an overhanging mounting surface such as eaves or an awning.
 
These cameras also allow precise pan/tilt control and fully programmable scan patterns, radar slew-to-cue, and slew-to-alarm functionality.

Applications

  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Law Enforcement
  • Nuclear Power
  • Petrochemical
  • Seaports
  • Borders
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Distribution Centers
  • Office Building
  • Parking Garages
  • Residential

Features

  • See objects, suspects, obstacles, animals and any heat source in total darkness
  • Enhances Security vision in total darkness 
  • Installed in either “dome-up or dome-down” for ease of mounting for all surveillance
  • See heated objects through smoke 
  • Enables vision at night during Pursuit
  • Temperature can be seen in dark…so can suspects and dangerous situations be noted and reacted upon.
  • Monitor the activity of suspects without their knowledge and in total darkness
  • See through smoke, allowing officers to respond safely and quickly
See hazards and perpetrators from an offsite position enabling lives to be saved and property to be protected.
 
FixedvsCCD
Thermal Imaging Fixed Mount Camera (left) compliments CCD Camera (right)



This lone security guard with his dog walks the property line at night, while we see whether there may be danger lurking in the shadows.
 
Guard
 

IR Resolution (Pixel Array) / Detector Size

Although for Fixed Mount Thermal Cameras the Detector Resolution selection is limited to one choice, it is important to understand more about Detector Resolution. Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected and any special electronics being added to the optical circuit), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. All cameras display temperature gradient. As the pixel array increase in size, the average temperature spot measured becomes smaller. This will increase the information gathered by the camera.

When discussing pixel size, the specific application must be taken into consideration. Please be aware that the detector resolution is different than the display resolution. It is the detector resolution that matters the most. Higher resolution thermal imaging not only provides more accurate quantitative results, but it is also very important when presenting those results to customers. Please see FOV, “Field of View” paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed.

FOV - Field of View

Like the Detector Size above, the FOV or "Field of View" selection is limited to one choice. But it was optimally chosen for viewing at a distance. The FOV is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. Compare the illustrations from the Building and Industrial Thermal Imager FOV section above.
 

HUNTING AND OUTDOOR THERMAL IMAGERS

Hunting and Outdoor Thermal Imaging Cameras are easy to pack, easy to use and deliver a high-quality thermal image.

FLIR Multiple lens and thermal detector options allow you to customize the right camera for you. Tracking game in a heavily forested area? TS24 lets you see in the dark and through light foliage and camouflage up to 350 yards out. Monitoring a herd? Perhaps the TS32r Pro is your best option, so you can observe from more than a half-mile away.

The Scout, powered by the same advanced technology used by military and law enforcement, is a powerful personal thermal imaging camera affordable enough to give every outdoorsman the unsurpassed practical advantages of full-resolution thermal imaging night vision.

  • Guide and See at Night
  • Track and Stay Safe
  • Search as a Volunteer
  • Explore the Wild
  • Identify Uninvited Guests
  • Locate the Herd
  • Navigate with Confidence
  • Guard Your Safety

Small, rugged, and ergonomic, Scout provides direct push-button access to all of its controls, and weighs less than a pound and a half. Built around FLIR's bleeding-edge thermal night vision technology, Scout uses a thermal camera that creates video images from heat, not light, and displays this video on its built-in LCD eyepiece so you can experience the world as it happens, day or night.

  • Six Models – Available in different resolutions and with a variety of image and video capture and storage options
  • Multiple Lens Options – Choose from a model with a 19 mm lens and optional 2× optical extender or the longer range model equipped with a 65 mm lens
  • Shuttered Eyepiece – Keeps light from coming out of the viewfinder and avoids alarming animals or other target subjects
  • Rugged All-Weather Design – Built to withstand the demands of day-in, day-out rugged outdoor use
  • Ready to Go When You Are – Battery operation with field-swappable AA common batteries plus Power In/Charging, RCA video out via standard Hot Shoe attachment
  • Three Selectable Palettes – White Hot, Black Hot, and the powerful Instalert™ detection palettes provide excellent image detail in different environments

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT THERMAL IMAGERS

Thermal Imagers for Law Enforcement and Fire Fighting are used to locate criminals, casualties and hazards in total darkness, smoke, fog, and fire. The use of thermal cameras offers officers a tactical and search advantage.

The two figures below are representative of what is seen with night vision (left image) and what is captured with a thermal imager (right image). Right image represents a typical night vision view of a park surrounded by trees and foliage. It is not apparent that there are any suspects in sight. Using a Thermal Imager designed for first responders, left image demonstrates that someone is attempting to hide behind the foliage. If the “law enforcement team” had been using a thermal camera, the suspect would be apprehended. The use of Thermal Imaging cameras offers an undeniable tactical advantage.

 
thermal-vs-nightvision1   thermal-vs-nightvision2
Compare the same view
Night Vision Camera                                    Thermal Image


Primary Applications for Law Enforcement Thermal Imaging Cameras
  • See suspects in total darkness
  • See through smoke, dust, and light fog
  • See through camouflage and foliage in any lighting conditions
  • See farther in zero visibility
  • Significantly improve safety and mobility
  • Find hidden or injured in fires
  • Monitor temperatures for preventative maintenance and condition monitoring of equipment
  • Fire Prevention surveys
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of cooling
  • Searching for a person in deep water
  • Examining containers storing hazardous or flammable materials
  • Locate vehicles that have been in motion
  • Road Traffic accidents
  • Predict potential of flashover
  • Locating the seat and spread of a fire
  • Searching for casualties
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of attack
  • Overhaul Systems
  • Pre Qualification of Residential or Industrial hazards
  • See through dense smoke and in darkness
  • Detect and display the relevant temperatures of objects within the scene
  • Moving swiftly in “Search and Rescue” of casualties
  • Enhance Mission Effectiveness
  • Maximize Operational Capability
  • Improve Officer Safety
The human eye uses reflected light to visualize and produce an image. Daylight cameras, night-vision devices, and the human eye all work on the same basic principle. When light energy reflects off of an object, our eyes receive that signal and produce the appropriate image. In darkness, or in fog, or in smoke, we are limited to the external light provided. If there isn’t enough light or the artificial light is not sufficient, we no longer see clearly or see at all. When using night vision devices, the available light is magnified to produce an image. These devices have range limitations especially in extremely low-light conditions. It becomes difficult to view or recognize an object or produce any contrast for the image we would like to find. The thermal contrast between an object and its surroundings is what safety first responders are seeking.

Thermal imaging cameras measure the reflected thermal energy and are not susceptible or responsive to daylight or artificial light. First Responder Cameras indicate temperature variations usually by a display of sharp black and white contrast screen. By sensing this thermal energy and displaying it as black and white video, thermal imagers allow you to see things from farther away and with greater contrast than conventional visible-light cameras and night-vision technologies. As long as there is a temperature variation, within the resolution and sensitivity of the camera, the image will be displayed. The use of flashlights and high beam patrol lights, when the officers might want to maintain their hidden location, is never necessary.

This image, (on the left), is typical of a hidden criminal in total darkness. The use of the Thermal Imager allows quite an advantage for Law Enforcement personnel to view and capture rather than be caught off guard. In the right image, note the use of cutters on a security fence that is taken in total darkness.
 
thermal_police  thermal_law
Criminals Exposed by Thermal Imagers

Features to Consider when choosing a thermal imaging camera for law enforcement                 
  • IR Resolution or Detector Pixel Size
  • Eyepiece- Shuttered / Non-Shuttered
  • Single or Multiple Lenses
  • Monocular / Bi-Ocular
  • Focus Capability /Focal Length
  • Thermal Sensitivity NETD
  • FOV - Field Of View
  • Zoom Capability
  • Start Up Time
  • Refresh (Frame) Rate (Hz)
  • Memory Capability
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Capability/ Radio Frequency Transmission
  • Lens Capability and Interchangeability
  • Visual Alarm Capability
  • Standard Black / White Display or Special Color Alarm
  • Voice Annotation
  • Video Output Capability
  • BatteryLife and Replacement
  • Enclosure Ratings / Capability
  • Drop Test Capability
  • Connection Capability
IR Resolution (Pixel Array)

Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, 640X480, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected and any special electronics being added to the optical circuit), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. As the pixel array increase in size and the focal length is increased, changes in thermal visibility will be extended over a longer distance. Please see FOV, “Field of View” paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed. Compare the IR Resolution images in the Building and Industrial Thermal Imager section above.
 

FOV - Field Of View

The FOV or “Field of View” is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. By choosing the appropriate lens with a specific pixel array, you are also determining the length of visual capability for the Imager. Compare the illustrations from the Building and Industrial Thermal Imager FOV section above.
 
Note the clarity and distance seen in figure  below. A Thermal Imager was used to capture possible problems with an unsuspecting driver using a longer lens FOV with a larger pixel array.
 
thermal_law2
Longer Lens FOV
 
FOV-Lenses Download a comparison of various lenses and the range in yards to spot a man-size target.
Click image or here: Lens FOV


There is no doubt that using Thermal Imaging for Rescue and Law Enforcement provides an increased opportunity for safety and success for all first responders. This tool allows any operator to have the ability to increase life and death circumstance to their benefit as well as added protection at their fingertips. For additional information, contact your TEquipment Certified Thermal Imaging Expert and also checkout these videos
 





 

MARINE THERMAL IMAGERS


In Marine applications of safety and security, the images you may obtain in total darkness, smoke, or fog will allow you to make consistent decisions for boat safety as well as maintain understanding of personnel safety in critical situations. When operating close to shore at night or in adverse environments, a thermal imager allows the crew and patrol boat officers an awareness of their surroundings so they can navigate confidently and safely. In darkness, smoke, or fog confidently knowing safe distances from pilings, docks, floating debris, or boats riding at anchor will allow officers and security personnel to do their job efficiently. The two figures below are typical of visualizing the same structure, boat, with and without Thermal Imaging. The boat and two passengers are clearly visible with the thermal imager versus only the lights and reflection without it. That is quite an advantage for safety personnel as well as for the boat occupants.
 
Your-Vision   Thermal-boat
Your Vision/Night Vision                   Marine Thermal Imager




Here are additional example comparisons between naked eye versus thermal imager in maritime applications:

                        Your Vision                                Basic Vision                         Advanced Vision
thermal_maritime
Same Target
 
thermal_maritime2

Note the clarity and distance seen in Advanced Vision above. A Thermal Imager was used to capture possible problems using a longer lens FOV with a larger pixel array. This feature may be used for all applications for Thermal Imagers
 

Maritime Applications

  • Navigating safely at night
  • Identifying channel markers, outcrops of land, bridge pilings, exposed rocks, other vessels, floating objects, and even iceberg detection
  • Understanding the "blip" on the radar screen
  • Ship security - Pirate or approaching boats
  • Personnel Water-rescue: "Man overboard"
  • Anti-piracy, Horizon view
  • Port security
  • Shipboard security
  • Approaching people on dock
  • See suspects in total darkness, smoke, dust, and light fog
  • See through darkness, smoke, dust, and light fog
  • See through camouflage and foliage in any lighting conditions
  • See farther in zero visibility
  • Significantly improve safety and mobility
  • Oil spills
  • Find hidden or injured in fires
  • Monitor temperatures for preventative maintenance and condition monitoring of equipment
  • Searching for a person in deep water
  • Examining containers storing hazardous or flammable materials
  • Locating the seat and spread of a fire
  • Searching for casualties
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of attack
  • Overhaul Systems
  • Pre Qualification of Marine Hazards
  • See through dense smoke and in darkness
  • Detect and display the relevant temperatures of objects within the scene
  • Moving swiftly in “Search and Rescue” of casualties
  • Enhance Mission Effectiveness
  • Maximize Operational Capability
  • Improve Officer Safety
The human eye uses reflected light to visualize and produce an image. Daylight cameras, night-vision devices, and the human eye all work on the same basic principle. When light energy reflects off an object, our eyes receive that signal and produce the appropriate image. In darkness, fog, or smoke, we are limited to the external light provided. If there is not enough light or the artificial light is not sufficient, we no longer see clearly or see at all. When using night vision devices, the available light is magnified to produce an image. These devices have range limitations especially in extremely low-light conditions. It becomes difficult to view or recognize an object or produce any contrast for the image we would like to find. The thermal contrast between an object and its surroundings is what safety first responders are seeking.

Thermal imaging cameras measure the reflected thermal energy and are not susceptible or responsive to daylight or artificial light. First Responder Cameras indicate temperature variations usually by a display of sharp black and white contrast screen. By sensing this thermal energy and displaying it as black and white video, thermal imagers allow you to see things from farther away and with greater contrast than conventional visible-light cameras and night-vision technologies. As long as there is a temperature variation, within the resolution and sensitivity of the camera, the image will be displayed. The use of flashlights and high beam patrol lights, when the officers might want to maintain their hidden location, is never necessary.
 

Maritime Thermal Imaging Camera Selection Considerations

  • Maritime thermal imaging cameras are monocular style
     
  • Detector Size. Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. All cameras display temperature gradient. As the pixel array increase in size, the average temperature spot measured becomes smaller. This will increase the information gathered by the camera.

    When discussing pixel size, the specific application must be taken into consideration. Please be aware that the detector resolution is different than the display resolution. It is the detector resolution that matters the most. Higher resolution thermal imaging not only provides more accurate quantitative results, but is very important when presenting those results to customers. Please see FOV, "Field of View" paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed.
     
  • Optional Lenses. See "Field of View" discussion below.
    • A wide field of view lens is perfect for mooring, avoiding vessels and other obstacles, and for searching for people in the water
    • A narrow field of view lens is perfect for zooming in on distant obstacles
       
  • Refresh Rate or Frame Rate is the accepted frames per second update for the image being transmitted to the display. Rates are commonly listed as 9Hz, 30Hz, or 60Hz. Higher frame rates are usually found on cameras with better resolution as well as cameras used for First Responder applications involving motion. If the application anticipates using video output, a higher refresh rate is preferred. The choice is based on application and camera specifications.

FOV - Field Of View

The FOV or “Field of View” is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. By choosing the appropriate lens with a specific pixel array, you are also determining the length of visual capability for the Imager. Compare the illustrations from the Building and Industrial Thermal Imager FOV section above.
 

 

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