Thermal Imaging - FAQs
What is infrared thermography?
  • Infrared is an invisible portion of the light spectrum extending from 0.75 to 1000 microns. All objects warmer than absolute zero (0 Kelvin or -275.15ºC) emit energy somewhere within that range. The warmer the object, the brighter we see it with an infrared thermal imager. In raw infrared white is hotter, black is colder.
What is a thermographer?
  • A thermographer is a thermal evaluator and imaging expert. He or she will have a solid understanding of heat transfer laws, thermal dynamics and properties of materials. Knowledge of objects and why they appear hot or not. Thermography is not just white is hot and black is cold because of outside factors that a thermographer must know thoroughly.
  • A thermographer is a person who uses an Infrared camera and his / her knowledge of the subjects they look at in combination with other non-evasive testing tools to evaluate the condition. Thermography is not a 9 to 5 job... There are so many areas the same thermal expert can be involved in, with the exact same thermal camera, it offers diversification like no other career...
What is an infrared thermometer ( point radiometer )?
  • An infrared radiometer (sensor) provides a remote temperature measurement of an object without touching it. The sensor measures the amount of infrared energy emitted from an object and converts this to a digital temperature readout.With a point radiometer you have no image to analyze what or where the problem is precisely located. Also a thermometer / radiometer averages a spot size depending on the range from the object(s).
What is a radiometric infrared thermal imager?
  • A radiometric infrared thermal imager is a device that makes an image of the thermal patterns and is calibrated to take temperatures in a small area at various ranges.
Can the object being measured be moving?
  • Yes. Measuring moving targets is one of the benefits of using non-contact infrared thermometry.
How close do I have to be to an object to take its temperature?
  • With a radiometric infrared imager temperatures can be read at great distances with digital magnification. In most modern focal plan array radiometric imagers, atmospheric conditions effect the amount of infrared energy that is detected. Some imagers have software onboard to compensate for this phenomenon called absorption.
Does color effect infrared measurement?
  • In some cases it does however, a different surface characteristic, called emissivity, greatly effects the infrared image and temperature. Emissivity is a function of both the type of material you are measuring and its surface finish. This is primarily a concern for metallic materials. Most sensors can be adjusted by simply pushing a button or changing settings on a computer screen of the known emissivity.
Can infrared instruments measure water or ice?
  • Yes, as mentioned above, an object warmer than absolute zero emits energy. (But infrared "reads" surface temperatures.)
Will infrared instruments measure air?
    No, an infrared thermometer needs a surface to measure. In fact, most infrared instruments are specifically designed so that the air between the sensor and the target does not effect measurement.

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