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Sep 02, 2022 | 03:09 am 62 0

What’s the difference between a thermal imaging camera and an imaging thermometer?


What’s the difference between a thermal imaging camera and an imaging thermometer?

Therm imaging cameras and thermometers deserve special attention among the many modern devices. They have a similar principle of operation but differ from each other in many respects. Both devices are widely used in various fields of activity, so everyone needs to know the direction of their operation, design features, advantages, and disadvantages. This information will help you choose a suitable device to perform specific tasks.

What is a thermal imaging camera?

A thermal imaging camera is a device that creates a visible image of an object of interest based on the captured infrared radiation. Infrared radiation comes from all heated bodies, so with this device, you can detect someone or something without average visibility (for example, due to adverse weather, low light, etc.).

The military often uses TI cameras. With their help, they detect hidden enemy soldiers and gain a specific advantage over them. In addition, the devices are used in various industries, security activities, search and rescue operations, and scientific research. Such cameras will not be superfluous when hunting.

Positive qualities of TI cameras:

Versatility. TI cameras Equally effectively work at any time of the day. They do a great job in low and high light conditions, making them versatile devices capable of doing many different positions.

Ability to use in all weather conditions. Most of the models produced are reliably protected from any external influences. They are not afraid of moisture, so they work great even in heavy rain, snow, or fog. Also, cameras of this type withstand temperature changes, making it possible to apply modern technologies even in very hot or cold conditions.

Range. TI cameras capture thermal and infrared radiation from a very long distance. This makes it possible to see distant objects and quickly identify them.

Image clarity. Modern thermal cameras are capable of producing high-definition images. This became possible thanks to the active introduction of new developments and the use of high-quality components in production.

Ease of care. Thermal imaging cameras work efficiently and do not require frequent maintenance. In addition, they rarely fail and do not require regular preventive examinations.

Good cost. Many models of TI cameras are sold at an affordable price. This makes it possible to buy devices even for people with little financial resources. This feature makes cameras popular not only among the military but also among civilians.

Negative sides:

Disadvantages of IR radiation. Thermal imaging devices use infrared rays in their work. They are reflected from some surfaces (water, glass) and make it impossible to detect objects located behind them.

Difficulty in accurate identification. TI cameras will be practically useless at facilities that do not have their security. They will be able to detect the presence of an intruder but will only determine a person's height, physique, and gender. A more precise identification cannot be made.

How does it work?

Thermal cameras have a standard operating principle typical for most of these devices. It is pretty simple to understand, and everyone can understand its features. At the beginning of the process, the camera collects invisible infrared radiation from the human eye. They pass through a lens that focuses the beams onto special sensors. The latter repeatedly converts them and creates a thermogram. It is quickly converted into electrical impulses, based on which a thermal image is formed. The last becomes visible to the owner of the camera. The most strongly heated areas are displayed in yellow, white, red, and orange; cold spots are shown in blue, purple, and green.

What is an imaging thermometer?

Thermal imaging thermometers are devices that use infrared radiation to operate. Because of this, they are often referred to as IR thermometers. They help to determine the temperature of heated objects in a contact or non-contact way.

TI thermometers are indispensable devices for various industrial enterprises. With their help, they also determine the body temperature of a sick person and perform much other work. Like TI cameras, thermometers have several positives and negatives. They must be studied before buying one or another model.

Positive traits:

Ability to remotely determine the degree of heating. IR thermometers can measure temperature without direct contact with a living or non-living object. This advantage allows the devices to be used in medicine (no need to contact an infected patient), industry (determine the degree of heating of certain products), and other areas of activity. IR thermometers and firefighters will be helpful. Thanks to these devices, they will be able to locate the flames even in conditions of minimal visibility.

The presence of memory. All modern models of TI thermometers have built-in memory. It makes it possible to save the results of the latest measurements and use these data to study temperature dynamics. For example, in a factory, you can control the degree of heating of the workpiece throughout the entire period of work with it.

Ability to measure the temperature of moving objects. This advantage makes IR thermometers versatile and efficient in a variety of applications. It allows you to determine the degree of heating of even a high-speed moving object, the temperature of which will be very difficult to decide on in other ways.

Safety for health. According to scientists, TI thermometers use infrared radiation, which does not harm human health. Thanks to this, the device can be used daily for a long time without fear of any negative consequences. In addition, thermometers of this type do not have elements in their design that hurt humans, animals, or the environment.

Compactness and lightness. Even the most potent TI thermometers stand out for their small size and lightweight. The combination of these two qualities makes the devices as user-friendly as possible. They are also straightforward to transport and store in the enterprise's warehouse or home.

Acceptable cost. Among all devices capable of creating a thermal image and determining the degree of heating of various bodies, the TI thermometer is the cheapest. This makes it a popular and widely used device. Also, the low price positively affects the popularity of the thermometer in the less developed countries of the world.

Negative points:

Visibility of only heated bodies. The TI thermometer can only "see" scorching bodies. If the object's temperature is slightly above zero (in Celsius), it will not be possible to detect and accurately determine the degree of heating. At a negative temperature, the device will ultimately become useless.

Dependence on external influences. IR thermometers are very environment dependent. Very often, it affects the accuracy of measurements and does not allow obtaining the correct thermal image of the object of interest. The strongest influences are caused by dust and dirt on the surface, fog/smoke, and atmospheric precipitation (if the device is used outdoors).

The need for operating experience. Only people with extensive experience will be able to use IR thermometers fully. This is because the user needs to correctly select the distance to the object, fine-tune the device and adjust its operation to changing environmental conditions.

How does it work?

TI thermometers work pretty simply. They capture infrared radiation from all objects heated above zero degrees Celsius. This radiation falls on a special thermopile, which converts it into heat. This is done using microscopic thermocouples built into the housing. The latter converts heat into electrical impulses, based on which the final image is formed, and the object's temperature is determined (only at the measurement point).

The operation of IR thermometers is as simple as possible. The user needs to select the required units of measurement and direct the device towards the object of interest. After that, the display will show the thermal image and the temperature value. If you need to find out the degree of heating of a dimensional object, then measurements are taken at several of its points. Further, the collected data is processed, and the average temperature value is displayed.

What’s the difference between a thermal imaging camera and an imaging thermometer?

TI cameras and thermometers have a lot in common. However, they differ significantly in characteristics, purpose, and capabilities. Knowing the key differences, you can choose the suitable device and apply it to perform the required tasks.

Main differences:

Measurement range. The critical difference between both devices is the measurement range indicator. In most cases, IR thermometers can determine the temperature of a 10 mm object from a distance of 35-50 cm. With the same initial TI values, the cameras can work at a distance of 2-5 meters.

Measurement accuracy. TI cameras are much more accurate than thermometers. This is due to their more complex design and the presence of modern sensors. Also, the cameras have large dimensions, which makes it possible to place additional elements inside the case that increase the accuracy of measurements. Because of these features, thermometers are best used when significant errors are acceptable and cameras when maximum precision is required.

Dimensions of measured objects. IR thermometers are great for working with small things. At the same time, they are not suitable for measuring the temperature of overall products. This is explained by the fact that such devices can determine the degree of heating only at a certain point, which will be uninformative with the large dimensions of the object. TI cameras, on the contrary, are excellent at detecting and measuring important things/living beings but are ineffective when working with small objects.

Thermal imaging thermometers and cameras are popular devices that bring many benefits to people. Each of them has its own characteristics and positive and negative qualities. By comparing both devices, you can get a complete picture of them and learn how to determine the best option for performing a particular job.

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