How do infrared cameras work?

How do infrared cameras work?

Infrared cameras work by detecting other wavelength of light that we cannot see. What we see is called “visible radiation” it is just a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that the camera see is at the longer wavelength.

The electromagnetic spectrum is the complete spectrum of radiation we know and see as light. This spectrum also includes gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, microwaves and radio waves.

Infrared is emitted due to the movement of atoms and molecules in an object. It is felt by the body as heat. The higher the temperature of an object the more it emits infrared. This type of radiation is comparably safer versus other forms of radiation, unless it is too hot like the heat emitted by fire.

So, how does infrared cameras work?

These specialized cameras with lenses made of germanium or sapphire crystals are a must. It works like a normal camera but with additional hardware and software for infrared thermal detection. A special heat detector to give us a visual representation of the infrared energy given off by objects. Inside the camera, there are calculators that analyses the heat given of and reproduces it as the colourful visual image representation that we see on screen.

What does infrared show us?

It shows us an accurate visual representation of the temperature of an object therefore we can see through thin layers or plastic or paper as long as the heat is enough to penetrate both sides of the material. It also gives us a visual representation of an object’s temperature. It is also a great way to see at night especially at very low light conditions.

Uses of infrared cameras and sensors

Infrared cameras are often used for night vision purposes like how the police and military uses it. Other law enforcement groups are also using it for thermal weapon sight, search and rescue, fire righting tool, surveillance, and as airport health tests.

Paranormal investigators also uses it to visualize a change in temperature often associated with entities and it doubles as a night vision aid as well.

Meteorology Labs also use it for weather analysis on cloud temperature, cloud height, water concentration, among other uses.

The communications industry also uses infrared in the optical fibre communication system since it is cheap and safe for use. This wave of light radiation is the best for use on the standard silica fibres.

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