What to Look for in a Thermal Imaging Camera

There are a number of components that contribute to both the quality and the cost of a thermal imaging camera. The two most important factors are the detector resolution and the thermal sensitivity.

The detector resolution describes the number of pixels. The most common resolutions are 160 x 120, 320 x 240 and 640 x 480 pixels. A 320 x 240 detector produces an image composed of 76,800 pixels. Since each pixel has a temperature associated with it that is 76,800 temperature data points. Higher resolutions also produce visibly clearer images.

Thermal sensitivity is the smallest temperature difference the camera can detect. A sensitivity of 0.05° means the camera can distinguish between two surfaces with only a five-hundredths of a degree temperature difference.

Another important factor to consider is the thermal imaging camera’s temperature range. The range tells what the minimum and maximum temperatures are that the camera can measure (-4°F to 2200°F is typical).

To obtain the best thermal image to analyze, there are four adjustments that can be made to most cameras: focus, emissivity setting changes, reflective temperature setting changes and thermal tuning. Each of these adjustments must be considered when selecting a thermal imaging camera.

Just like a standard camera, the lens of the thermal imaging camera needs to be focused to enhance the clarity of the image. Most cameras can be focused by twisting the lens. More sophisticated cameras have a push-button focus.

Emissivity is the amount of radiation emitted from an object compared to that of a perfect emitter of radiation when both are at the same temperature. Adjusting the emissivity is important when taking temperature measurements or when comparing the temperatures of two different objects. Not all cameras allow the user to input reflective temperature.

The reflective temperature setting allows the user to compensate for surrounding objects’ temperature reflecting on an object. Just like emissivity, reflective temperature is important when taking temperature measurements or comparing two objects’ temperatures. Not all cameras allow the user to input reflective temperature.

Thermal tuning the camera involves adjusting the span or temperature range that the camera sees while in manual viewing mode. Manual mode allows the user to adjust the span to a desired range, and the camera will always display this temperature range. Using the manual mode is best when used to bring out temperature differences of the object being viewed.

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Thermal Imaging module

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The range of long-wave thermal imaging cores for a wide variety of applications and are available with a choice of array sizes, pixel pitch and lens options. They can be delivered as self-contained camera units or as OEM cores for integration into end-user products.

Our OEM thermal imaging modules include the MIRICLE range, ultra low-power MicroCAM 2 and MicroCAM 3 cores with patented shutterless XTi Technology, MicroCAM irGO thermal imaging cameras and MicroCAM HD high definition thermal imaging cameras.

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Thermal Security Camera for Outdoor

Our thermal security camera is one of the most unique thermal security cameras ever made. Combining ATN’s world renowned optics and thermal sensors, with a powerful computer running state of the art analytical software, the thermal security camera is able to identify and track objects and animals regardless of speed, in night or day, light or dark, or even with fog or smoke blocking the view.

With the thermal security camera, there is nowhere to hide! Using it pan and tilt capability, the camera is able to rotate 360 degrees, while being able to shift vertically a full 180 degrees. With built in magnification and autofocus, even running won’t save your target from detection.

Our devices are able to accomplish a wide variety of analytical tasks. Some of these include dropped object detection, loitering detection, speed tracking, creating a “clean zone,” virtual trip wires, object tracking, and many more.

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The Smart Baby Monitors

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This WiFi-enabled baby monitor camera can be placed anywhere in your home to help you keep an eye on your little one while giving you peace of mind. Night vision mode allows parents to clearly see even when it’s dark.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS devices
  • Built-in temperature and humidity sensors
  • Automatic alerts let you know if noise or motion is detected in baby’s room

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Security Cameras

Security cameras are a great way to provide security for your home or workplace. As well as providing you with video footage of any events which may happen, they also act as a visible deterrent to criminals.

We produce a range of cctv cameras, ensuring there is one suitable for every budget. Our range runs from state-of-the-art HD security cameras with 3 megapixel sensors, optical zoom, and pan and tilt functions, through to our great value advanced series range.

When connected to a security system all of our home surveillance cameras can be accessed remotely from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Allowing you to check in on your home or monitor staff at work wherever you are. Many of our security cameras can also be set to be motion activated, recording footage when motion triggers them. Our range of cameras also includes outdoor security cameras and wifi cameras.

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UAV Thermal imaging camera for UAV inspection tasks

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UAV Thermal Imaging camera is designed for easy mounting to a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles for such applications as thermographic surveying and defect analysis of photovoltaic cells and wind turbines. The imager consists of a miniature infrared camera and a lightweight ‘NetBox mini’ PC.

The UAV Thermal Imaging camera measures just 111 x 55 x 45mm and measures temperature ranges from -20 to 1500°C. In addition, it has a spectral range of 7.5 to 13µm, changeable lenses, power supply and operation via USB, and LabVIEW software interface.

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Gas leaks cameras help to spot gas leaks from the air

Optical gas leaks cameras can visualize and pinpoint gas leaks that are invisible to the naked eye. With an optical gas leaks camera it is easy to continuously scan installations that are in remote areas or in zones that are difficult to access. The optical gas camera contains a cooled Indium Antimonide (InSb) detector that produces thermal images of 320 x 240 pixels. With its low F-number (quantitative measure of lens speed) and high sensitivity, the gas leaks camera detects the smallest of leaks. The camera also has High Sensitivity Mode (HSM) which further enhances the detection level of the camera so that the smallest gas leaks can be detected. Thegas leaks camera is very easy to control from a safe distance over Ethernet and it can easily be integrated in a TCP/ IP network.

The gas leaks camera is really an ideal camera for our system, The gas leaks camera is very light and compact – in fact the first optical imaging camera that is so light – which makes it extremely suited for extended UAV flights. We have made it possible for the operator to control the camera remotely from the ground with a joystick and operator screen. The gas leaks camera’s connectivity is what makes it truly unique in the market. The image quality is what you can expect from a world leader in thermal imaging. Especially the High Sensitivity Mode is very useful when you need to see moving gas fumes.

The gas market will really be able to benefit from this technology. Gas plants are usually very wide, so with our UAV solutions you are able to scan these large areas very efficiently and also to provide a good overview. They can take you to places that are hard to reach or that would take a lot of effort to go to. Gas processing plants usually have risky areas, like the red zone at the Al Hosn Shah Plant. Optical gas leaks cameras like thegas leaks cameras can scan these hazardous areas without any risk for human operators.

A Spectral Gas Camera Makes All the Difference

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The sky is a large blackbody radiation source. The emitted sky radiation covers all electromagnetic spectrum including the absorption wavelengths of a R-134a gas. The above infrared picture shows an image of a cloud. It can be a dust cloud that reflects the sky radiation or a target gas.

A Single Filter-Based Gas Camera

In the traditional type of infrared camera for gas detection, the focal plane array is tuned to a very narrow spectral region where the gas has a strong absorption line, so that it can be detected and visualized. This tuning is done by a built-in filter mounted inside the IR camera dewar. Once the filter is chosen and mounted it cannot be changed.

This technique limits the systems flexibility in the sense that different gases with an absorption feature in the same spectral range of the filter cannot be distinguished among themselves.The diagrammatic figure on the left side illustrates a situation of false alarm. A dust cloud that reflects the sky is seen by a single band IR camera as a cloud of target gas.

Though sensitivity is a key parameter for a gas camera, it is the selectivity (the ability to discriminate the target gas from interferences to avoid false alarms) that becomes the limiting performance factor in real-world settings.

Traditionally, gas cameras avoid the effect of interferences by measuring the gas absorption either at a single wavelength or over a narrow wavelength region where the target gas absorbs and the “noise gases” do not absorb. This approach has been successful for the detection of gases with a sharp spectral feature and in minimal interference conditions.

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Mirrorless UV Camera Conversion

Great for skin damage analysis, eye wear protection testing, dental, forensic and many other uses. We replace the internal hot mirror filter with our high quality custom manufactured UV camera band pass filter.

Have us convert your camera to a dedicated ultraviolet only camera. We replace the internal hot mirror filter with our high quality custom manufactured UV camera band pass filter. After conversion your camera will have much higher UV camera sensitivity and you will no longer need any UV camera filters in front of the lens making it easier to compose and focus UV camera photographs. Another benefit is the ability to shoot using wide angle lenses without the problems normally associated with external UV camera interference filters.

Great for skin damage analysis, eye wear protection testing, dental, forensic and many other uses.

Our internal UV camera only filters are the best in the world, are hard coated using magnetron sputtering technology on fused silica substrate and have the best UV camera transmission and out of band blocking available anywhere. This coating process is very expensive but we managed to keep costs as low as possible by optimizing the fabrication process and lot volume.

Our default calibration lens for UV camera only Mirrorless is the Coastal Optics 60mm UV camera-Vis-IR lens but you can use any other lens that can pass readily UV camera light through the lens.

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Winter Uses For Thermal Cameras

I’s Winter in Montana, 17oF outside, and snowing. Obviously, it’s not a good time to open hives for inspection. Our hives are wrapped for Winter, sitting outside in snow drifts. Thirty miles north of Missoula, several thousand colonies are securely packed inside a new wintering building built by Bill Fluke of Arlee Apiaries.

Indoor wintering buildings have been used for some time in Canada (see Beekeeping in Western Canada, 1998) and are becoming more common in northern states. In Canada, hives are moved into Winter storage in October or early November and kept inside until Spring. In the U.S., migratory beekeepers are using sheds as safe, accessible places to keep hives from Fall through early Winter. Just before almond pollination, these hives will be loaded onto trucks and shipped to California.

It may seem extravagant to store hives indoors for only two to three months, it provides a place to keep the hives before almond bloom, protection from Winter cold and theft, and the convenience of hives close to home.

In Montana, we often have a thaw in January, before it gets cold again. This presents an opportunity to check colonies. If the bees have been rapidly consuming their honey stores, it’s time to feed them. In the sheds, beekeepers will be selecting hives to ship – it doesn’t make sense to pay freight on dead-outs and weak hives.

Time to get out the infrared camera to check bee colonies. For outdoor hives, we image at night or on overcast days. It’s best to examine hives in early morning hours, since hive boxes retain heat from afternoon sun; and reflected sunshine masks emitted heat from clustered bees. Inside a wintering shed, time of day isn’t an issue. Hives are kept in dark; red lights allow the beekeeper to work within the storage unit with little disturbance of the bees.

Paint color can greatly affect IR accuracy. Reflective paint, especially silver, makes it hard, if not impossible, to image bee populations. Matt color paints and unpainted hives will vary somewhat, but you should be able to discern cluster shape, position, and size. Hives wrapped in quilts can’t be imaged; there’s too much insulation space between the surface of the hive and the outside of the wrap. Hives tightly wrapped in black plastic can be imaged, but any gap between the plastic and the surface of the hive will degrade the image – I pull the wrapping tight and staple to box surfaces.

The most accurate thermal image is taken from a vantage point centered-on and perpendicular to the face of each hive. In wintering sheds, hives are usually stacked on pallets. When hives are stacked as high as the ceiling in rows only two to three feet (~ 1 meter) apart, the problems are: (1) ability of the infrared camera lens to focus on and image the full width of the hive due to insufficient stand-off distance, (2) seeing the image on the view-screen of the infrared camera, and (3) getting the infrared camera high enough to image upper tiers of hives.

This article comes from bee-culture edit released