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Thermal Imaging Technology – Industry Insights from FLIR

Last updated on

June 25, 2021


    Wondering where to start with Thermal Imaging Technology? We’re here to help

    Teledyne FLIR designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness. They bring innovative sensing solutions into daily life through our thermal imaging, visible-light imaging, video analytics, measurement and diagnostic, and advanced threat detection systems. With all of the different options of thermal imaging technology, we’ve put together this blog to steer you in the right direction.

    The potential uses for thermal cameras are nearly limitless. Originally developed for surveillance and military operations, thermal cameras are now widely used for building inspections (moisture, insulation, roofing, etc.), firefighting, autonomous vehicles and automatic braking, skin temperature screening, industrial inspections, scientific research, and much more.

    In this blog you will find:

    • How does thermal imaging technology work?
    • What are thermal imaging cameras able to detect?
    • How we can help you with all your Drone Thermal Imaging Technology requirements
    • How Coptrz and Flir work together in the UK
    • Overview on how Thermal Imaging Technology works

    How does Thermal Imaging Technology work?

    The first thing to know about thermal cameras is they don’t work like regular cameras. Regular daylight cameras and the human eye both work on the same basic principle: visible light energy hits something, bounces off it, a detector receives the reflected light, and then turns it into an image.

    Thermal imagers make pictures from heat, not visible light. Heat (also called infrared or thermal energy) and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a camera that can detect visible light won’t see thermal energy, and vice versa. Thermal cameras capture infrared energy and use the data to create images through digital or analogue video outputs.

    A thermal camera is made up of a lens, a thermal sensor, processing electronics, and a mechanical housing. The lens focuses infrared energy onto the sensor. The sensor can come in a variety of pixel configurations from 80 × 60 to 1280 × 1024 pixels or more. This is the resolution of the camera.

    These resolutions are low in comparison to visible light imagers because thermal detectors need to sense energy that has much larger wavelengths than visible light, requiring each sensor element to be significantly larger. As a result, a thermal camera usually has much lower resolution (fewer pixels) than visible sensors of the same mechanical size.

    What are Thermal Imaging Cameras able to detect?

    Heat sensed by an infrared camera can be very precisely measured, allowing for a large variety of applications. A FLIR thermal camera can detect tiny differences in heat—as small as 0.01°C—and display them as shades of grey or with different colour palettes.

    Everything we encounter in our day-to-day lives gives off thermal energy—even ice. The hotter something is the more thermal energy it emits. This emitted thermal energy is called a “heat signature.” When two objects next to one another have even subtly different heat signatures, they show up quite clearly to a thermal sensor regardless of lighting conditions. This allows thermal cameras to see in complete darkness or smoke-filled environments.

    How we can help you with all your Drone Thermal Imaging Technology requirements?

    We have the tech, the courses and the experts to get you into the skies with confidence.

    Thermal imaging technology can help you quickly target the source of the problem so you can help customers make informed decisions on repairs. Non-destructive inspections with a thermal imaging camera can help isolate cold and warm air infiltration/exfiltration issues, so improvements can be made to tighten energy efficiency.


    Aerial Thermal Imaging Course

    If you’re a Drone Service Provider or organisation looking to bring thermal imaging for drones into your operations then our recent partnership with Ired to deliver the UK’s industry leading Aerial Thermal Imaging course is the perfect start point for you.

    Find out more about the course here.

    Thermal Imaging Cameras

    If you’re looking to add a thermal imaging camera into your operations, then speak to one of our UAV Strategists today and they will assist you in finding the right one.  No one in the UK offers the variety of Enterprise Payloads we do, so you can be certain of getting the solution that matches your requirements.

    Speak to us today.

    The best drones for thermal imaging cameras

    If you’re interested in adding aerial thermal imaging capability into your operations then we have the largest range of drones to get you off the ground with confidence. Speak to one of our UAV strategists today and they will assist you in finding the right one.

    Speak to us today.

    Heads up, we’ll be plugging everything again at the end of the article.

    How Coptrz and Flir work together in the UK

    Coptrz Thermography Partner FLIR are world leaders in Thermal Imaging technology and have spent years developing specialist sensors for aerial applications.

    Quick fact, we’re the only official UK partner for FLIR SUAS.

    FLIR offer a diverse portfolio for a number of applications in government & defence, industrial, and commercial markets. FLIR’s product range strives to strengthen public safety and well-being, increase energy and time efficiency, and contribute to healthy and intelligent communities.

    Blog: Top Thermal Cameras for Public Safety and Inspection

    Aerial Thermal Imagery

    Aerial Thermography

    Quick overview.  If you want a bigger deep dive into this technology and how it works then you want to read our article on the best cameras and drones for the job.

    Thermal Technology gives you the ability to sense or see radiated energy that comes off an object. Thermal cameras can translate the reading so that we can measure temperature without contact.

    The advantages of Thermal Technology include the ability to see through smoke and fog, visibility in total darkness which is great for locating people or animals and the ability to see if componentry is failing or operating at a normal rate.

    Thermal technology is quickly becoming a vital tool for public safety, inspection and surveying organisations around the world.

    Blog: Aerial Thermography – What are your best options


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