Thermal imaging cameras are the new wave of modern camera technology. Government equipment grants have led to firefighters using the type cameras. Their use has been dramatically increased since the September 11 attacks in 2001. Thermal imaging cameras pick up body heat and are used in situations where people are trapped where the firefighters cannot visually see them.
Construction Of A Thermal Imaging Camera
A thermal camera has five components. These components are an optic system, detector, amplifier, signal processing, and display. In firefighter situations, these cameras are contained in a heat resistant, rugged, and waterproof housing. One of the primary features of a thermal imaging camera is the ability to produce infrared radiation. This infrared radiation provides a visible representation of persons or objects trapped in fire situations where they cannot normally be seen.
The display of the camera uses grayscale to show normal temperature objects and extremely hot surfaces are set to be displayed in different colors. Thermal Imaging Cameras may be the handheld type or be designed to be mounted on the firefighter’s helmet. Handheld cameras can be handled with one hand leaving the other hand free for other duties. Most firefighters use the handheld type camera.
Usage Of A Thermal Imaging Camera
Thermal Imaging Cameras have the ability to see through darkness and smoke. This feature allows firefighters to find the origins of the fire, and see the heat composition of victims that are trapped and cannot be seen by the firefighter. Firefighters can also find victims on a cool night and find smoldered fires inside a wall. These type of cameras has been attributed to saving multiple lives since 1999. Another usage of thermal imaging cameras is the ability to detect low-level combustion burning. In one example, 75% of a stored crop was saved at a grain storage warehouse due to the thermal imaging camera detecting low-level combustion burning.
Thermal Imaging Cameras For Residential Use
Thermal imaging cameras can be used to find differences in temperature in walls and ceiling in residential type homes. These type cameras can quickly detect unseen gaps in walls of basement, attic, and kitchen. Thermal Imaging Technology has created a new business, energy auditors. These energy auditors can do an inspection with thermal imaging cameras finding unseen gaps that that human eye cannot see. With the rising cost of energy, this business has really taken off.
All homeowners want lower utility bills. With the drop in price for thermal imaging cameras, the average homeowner can afford an energy audit. Usually, the drop in utility bills will easily justify the cost of the energy audit. Cameras that were once $25.000 can be bought for $3000.
Although similar to digital cameras, thermal imaging cameras have a sensor chip that can detect the image and displayed on an L.C.D. screen. These images can show problems in a residential home or business building such as leaks, water damage inside walls, defective electrical wiring, and the insects and rodents in areas that normally could not be detected.