Major Uses Of Thermal Imaging Cameras


Thermal imaging cameras are sophisticated apparatuses used in converting heat into visible light. They produce images which undergo thermographic analysis and are displayed on screens.

In actuality, thermal imaging cameras give a new dimension to the idea of temperature measurement: they produce images displaying the temperature differences of a surface rather than giving users a number for the temperature. Some of the images they produce can be further processed using specific software while others are usable for urgent diagnosis.

By reading this article further, you’ll find out the most important features of thermal imaging cameras and the major uses of the imaging devices.

Key Features of Thermal Imaging Cameras

Thermal imaging camera comes with varying amounts of features. This is the major reason for their price ranges and while some thermal imaging cameras pack numerous features, several others incorporate limited features. Importantly, the ones with numerous features are designed to enable users to choose and compare multiple moveable crosshairs.

This way, users will be able to view the temperature levels on the cameras’ displays. Basically, such temperature levels range from ”low” to ”average” and ”high”. Thermal imaging cameras with limited features can be great but the most noticeable downside to using them is that their displays don’t enable users to view and compare various temperature levels.

Noteworthily, such cameras cram the smallest amount of features exclusively adapted for scanning the temperature of the fixed centre crosshairs on the cameras’ displays.

Features of a thermal imaging camera are basically the components that determine the cost of the camera and the quality of performance its users can expect. In evaluating any thermal imaging camera, the most essential features to consider are the thermal sensitivity and the detector resolution of the device.

Detector resolution: This is an essential component that tells the number of pixels the image captured by a thermal imaging camera can deliver. A thermal imaging camera with a higher detector resolution will surely deliver crystal-clear images.

Basically, the device will deliver an image cramming 76,800 pixels provided it packs a detector with 320 x 240 pixels. Some of the other common resolutions for the detectors of thermal imaging cameras are 640 x 480 and 160 x 120 pixels.

Thermal sensitivity: This describes the minimum temperature difference that can be detected by a thermal imaging camera.

Major Uses of Thermal Imaging Cameras

Today, thermal imaging cameras have become valuable instruments used by professionals in various fields.

Although the earliest ones were designed for and used by military personnel during the Korean War, thermal imaging cameras are now used by technicians, firefighters, physiologists, home inspectors, law enforcement officers and professionals from certain other walks of life.

Therefore, it is noteworthy to discuss the uses of these imaging devices in two major areas which are law enforcement and safety.

Law Enforcement

In the field of law enforcement, professionals utilize thermal imaging cameras for various activities.

Surveillance management: Keep track of burglars lying concealed or monitor people involved in a crime scene.

Criminal investigation: Inspect criminal activities, identify suspects and monitor them.


Thermal imaging cameras have become useful instruments for safety purposes including protection against fire risks, discovery of people trapped in fire incidents and prevention of minor technical situations from worsening.

Execution of search and rescue operations: Discover and rescue people from the exact spots they are trapped in smoke-engulfed places.

Firefighting: Ascertain the presence or extinction of a camp fire. Also, thermal imaging cameras help firefighters in delimiting fire hotspots and in looking through smoke-covered spots.

Quick Scanning for Disease Control: Run scans on people at airports and other places and quickly find out those with abnormally high temperatures. This is an efficacious measure for controlling outbreaks such as Bird Flu, SARS, Ebola, etc.

Meanwhile physiologists adopt thermal imaging cameras in detecting fever and other physiological feelings in man and other homoiotherms.

Inspection of Technical Defects: Technicians concerned with building construction can utilize thermal imaging cameras in inspecting heat leaks particularly in an instance of defective thermal insulation. Doing this can help such technicians in better ascertaining efficient heating or cooling.

Detection to Control Overheating: To avert possible failures or defects, technicians in the field of power line maintenance adopt thermal imaging cameras in detecting overheating parts and joints.