Monday, May 7, 2012

Non-destructive Thermal Imaging Technology

All those of you who do not know what is "Thermal Imaging" - please raise your hands. This was what I asked when I gave a small talk to the folks in my community this weekend; and to my astonishment, it turned out that almost everybody except a few school going kids don't know about it. I was a little astonished because going by the rate of number of people who keep themselves updated about the best uses of technology, we might soon go into stone age again. Ok, then I had to step ahead and show them some sample thermal images and how they are made and what are the industrial and practical applications of Thermal Imaging. So, here is an excerpt from my speech that I thought would be a great idea to share on this ultra-tech-geeky-fun blog.

                  To start with, to explain the most common man, Thermal Images are images of the heat let out from any thing (living or non living). To explain a slightly inclined towards tech man, Thermal Images are virtual displays of infrared energy emitted or transmitted of reflected by an object. To explain the geeky guy, Thermal Images are shot with Thermal imaging cameras and these cameras detect radiation in the infrared range since objects above absolute zero emit radiation out of zero light and these cameras are mostly limited to producing thermal images of objects which have a temperature of above -50 degrees celsius. But that is extremely cold and is not required to test isn't it? All in all - in short, heat energy is noted and converted into visual display by Thermal Imaging cameras, that was simple wasn't it!

                   A thermal imaging camera is basically a infra red capturing device which captures the object's surface temperature as well, in addition to all the other things such as heat points, over heated places, non stabilized parts or components. So why the word non-destructive? Because it does not do any harm, literally! It doesn't even come in contact with the object nor send in any signals or laser beams to get reflections or whatsoever! All it does is see heat signals and produce thermal images of these heat. Thermal Imaging mostly finds its use in Industrial applications to find faulty heating lines of power and joints, Medical imaging (recently H1N1 were detected successfully with Thermal Imaging!), and Chemical imaging apart from all the Thermology research that happens throughout the year. Night vision that we see in new age movies describes Thermal Imaging! ISO has specific standards defined for Thermal Imaging.

               The future of  Thermal Imaging? Its already here! Commercial usage of Thermal Imaging is very much possible with Industry experts producing Thermal Imaging cameras that can be used by any common man and find out faults with the connections of buildings. Companies are online and help the industrial parties to do a Thermal Imaging survey so that they make the best use of the non-destructive technology and achieve perfection in their buildings.

                 Now, that was only a small excerpt from my speech, and people really nodded heads in appreciation that they have indeed learnt something new today and most exclaimed 'better late knowing now than never'.

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