What is Infrared?
The Electromagnetic Spectrum and Thermography
Everything in life gives off some kind of electromagnetic radition, most of which goes unnoticed and is completely invisible to our eyes. The human eye perceves a very small window know as the visible light spectrum that makes up the colors that we can see. What if we could expand this window though to see even more? With the use of thermal imaging, we can "see" and "measure" thermal energy that was previously invisible to us. This type of heat radition is known as infrared radiation.
An object will emmit more IR radiation the hotter it's temperature rises. Infrared thermography cameras allow us to use our eyes to measure the temperature of an object instead of having to risk contact with something potentially dangerous. Most objects with machinery or electronics heat up before failing, making IR cameras the perfect tool for cost-effective diagnostics in a variety of situations.
Infrared camera's also have the bennefit of being unaffected by light condition. Everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat in the infrared world, even cold objects like ice cubes. This means whether it's dark or bright, IR camera's will see the thermal energy clearly.
How Does an IR Camera Work?
Infrared cameras are non-contact devices that detect thermal energy and then convert it into an electrical signal, which is then processed to produce an image. Not only are we able to visually see thermal radiation, but we can also precisely quantify and measure it in order to perform temperature calculations. This allows to not only be aware of the presence of heat, but we can evaluate the relative severity of it as well. Watch the video for a thorough explanation of the science of infrared and the kinds of technologies using that band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
With the addition of detector technology, built-in visual imaging, automatic functionality, and infrared software development, thermal analysis is more cost effective than ever before.