Emerging Applications for Miniature Thermal Imaging Cameras

The use of thermal imaging technology and the public's awareness of its capabilities has increased dramatically in the last decade. Thermal imaging used to be a very expensive technology for military users only. Today, more and more people are discovering the technology and the benefits it has to offer. Thermal imaging cameras produce a clear image in the darkest of nights, in light fog and smoke and in the most diverse weather conditions.

Through television shows like "Rescue 911" and other reality programs that are reporting about the activities of firefighters, policemen and other rescue workers, more and more people are aware of thermal imaging cameras and their capabilities. Many of us have seen on television how thermal imaging can help policemen to locate and follow suspects in total darkness

There has also been an increased interest in thermal imaging for all kinds of security applications, from long-range surveillance at border crossings, truck and shipping container inspection, to the monitoring of high-security installations such as nuclear power stations, airports, and dams. But thermal imaging has a lot more to offer than just a night vision solution for security applications.

Thermal imaging: a technology that saves lives

Thermal imaging has a multitude of uses, but none are more important than the ones that save lives, whether it is locating people in a fire, finding suspects in total darkness, or helping drivers and captains to navigate at night. It might just be a matter of time before every policeman, firefighter, rescue worker and security guard will have a personal thermal imaging camera in a compact, battery-powered package.

At the same time, consumers are gaining access to thermal imaging technology. Car manufacturers are integrating night vision modules for driver vision enhancement into cars. By helping drivers to see at night, accidents can be avoided. Boats and yachts are being equipped with thermal imaging cameras for nighttime navigation and other maritime applications like man overboard searches. The increasing worldwide demand for thermal imaging cameras has resulted in the ability for manufacturers to bring down production costs considerably. As prices come down and interest in the technology rises, more and more manufacturers across many diverse product areas are seeing the added value of thermal imaging and are willing to integrate a thermal imager in their products. Often the thermal imager is just a small part of the complete product, so it needs to be as small, light and inexpensive as possible.


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