Photo of an Avio TVS 700 IR Camera-Courtesy of Nippon Avionics Co. Ltd.
Some of the actual devices appear like slightly oversized video cameras, while others appear a bit bulkier. They have been getting smaller since the introduction of Focal Plane Array (FPA) detectors in the late 1990s.
Thermal Image of the Space Shuttle in false colors-Courtesy of NASA
Specific uses of thermal imagers are widespread. Several major cost saving uses depend upon the temperature measurement capability of the imaging equipment and a great many commercial and industrial uses help produce significant cost savings and cost avoidance.
Thermal imagers are one of the predictive maintenance tools being widely used in commerce and industry.
Thermal imagers with temperature measurement capability, called sometimes “Radiometric Imagers” and Quantitative Thermal Imagers” are used also in many Nondestructive testing situations and some of the professional societies for non-destructive testing around the world, such as the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT) in the USA, have adopted Infrared Testing as a sanctioned testing method.
Be aware, too, that there is another web site, The Temperature & Moisture Sensor Directory, devoted solely to equipment and service organizations in the field of temperature sensors. It is a new, free way for suppliers to list their own products and news and lets end users list their own reviews of those devices and services.
When the sun goes down and the other sources of illumination are removed, there is no light to be reflected and most mammals, especially, cannot see anything.
The unaided human eye cannot see infrared radiation, but the radiation is always present. It is heat or thermal radiation in a portion of the Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum to which our eyes do not respond. Our bodies respond to infrared, if it is intense enough, by feeling warmed, or sometimes, cooled.
The illustration above, courtesy of The University of Tennessee, depicts the EM spectrum ordered in terms of wavelength given in centimeters.
There are 100 centimeters in one meter and 10,000 microns in one centimeter. (Most of the terminology used in infrared imaging discusses wavelength in units of micrometers, also called microns). Also shown are the common names given to the different portions of the spectrum.